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CCE Fined For Third Year By Cumberland County

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Clear Channel Entertainment has been fined $61,000 for failing to bring its agreed number of 15 shows to Cumberland County coliseum complex in Fayetteville, NC, which houses the Crown Center; CCE promoted eight of the 15 events projected. This is the third consecutive year they have not met their show quota. The past two years Clear Channel has been fined $120,000 by the county.

"We got the money, but our public lost out on the kinds of entertainment that could have been presented to them," Larry Lancaster, chairman of the Civic Center Commission, said in the Fayetteville (NC) Observer.

In 2000 the county signed contract with Arena Ventures, a joint venture between Clear Channel and the National Basketball Association, which owns the Fayetteville Patriots. The team starts its fourth season at the Crown Coliseum this fall. The deal with Arena Ventures has cost the county $712,000 — $500,000 in management fees and $212,000 to acquire the NBA team, the paper reports.

Ater expenses, revenues at Crown Center are about $300,000 following three Patriots seasons and Clear Channel events, says the paper. Since the deal's inception, the county has lost about $412,000.

"Although it has not been what anybody wanted it to be, it's not been as bad financially as everyone thought a few years ago," said Crown Center Chief Executive Rick Reno, who says he expects Clear Channel to pay a penalty next year, too.

It is not clear whether the NBA team will stay for a fifth season, but if the Patriots leave, Clear Channel's obligations for shows ends, Reno said. — Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner