GRAND RAPIDS, MI (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Deltaplex owner Joel Langlois has filed suit against the Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention and Arena Authority, alleging that they have a deal with a large promoter to discourage concerts and events from taking place at venues other than the Van Andel Arena.
The lawsuit, filed in Federal court, stems from an email that was inadvertently sent by SMG to Deltaplex General Manager Rich Baylie. The email contained a "preferred promoter agreement," dated January 1 2008, between SMG and Cellar Door, a Live Nation-owned company, two of the dominant promoters in the region.
"Rich Baylie is the General Manager of our building" Langlois told CelebrityAccess "And Rich MacKeigan is the General Manager at the Van Andel, the SMG employee just sent it to the wrong Rich."
The agreement stipulates that if Live Nation promotes a concert at another West Michigan concert venue such as the Deltaplex, the promoter must pay one-third of the profits to SMG "for the benefit" of the Van Andel. Venues specifically mentioned in the agreement, obtained by CelebrityAccess, include: The Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo and the LC Walker Arena in Muskegon.
In return for this largess, Live Nation gets 1/3rd of the net revenue of any concert produced at the Van Andel by an outside promoter.
Langlois contends that this agreement has cost the Deltaplex concerts and money and constitutes a violation of federal and state anti-trust laws by attempting to establish a monopoly.
"We pay taxes to support and subsidize the Van Andel Arena and then have to suffer the indignity of having it intentionally driving up costs at the DeltaPlex to injure it and drive all concerts to the Van Andel," Langlois told the Grand Rapids Press, "This isn't the way government should act."
Both Live Nation and SMG have yet to respond to a request for comment at the time of publication. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers