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Live Nation & SMG Approved To Operate Baltimore's Pier Six Pavilion

BALTIMORE (CelebrityAccess) — Live Nation and SMG have been awarded a contract to manage Baltimore's Pier Six Pavilion, over rival AEG's objections.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the city's Board of Estimates voted 4-0 Wednesday to approve the Live Nation SMG contract. The two companies pledged $3.4 million in capital improvements over the contract's term and said they would hot at least 25 shows a year at the venue.

AEG Live Mid-Atlantic's senior vice president A. William Reid, who also competed on the bid, claimed that the deal appeared to have been sealed before it was officially approved.

"We kept hearing, anecdotally, that this [request for proposals] was a done deal," he told The Sun. "This was a payback to SMG."

Reid told the paper that AEG had offered to stage 45 shows a year at the venue, a deal that he maintains was worth more than $20 million to the city in profit-sharing.

"Something is fishy," Reid told the Sun. "This could be a case of contract steering."

Reid also had issues with the bidding process, suggesting that the Baltimore Development Corp. violated the city charter by asking for "best and final" bids from operators on multiple occasions, and failing to ask bidders to come before the BDC to present their proposal.

Representatives from the BDC and the city's law department took exception to Reid's claims, stating that the bids had been fairly evaluated. – Staff Writers