SYRACUSE, N.Y. (CelebrityAccess) – The New York State Fair is reportedly planning to hire Live Nation to handle booking for the fair's free concerts at Chevy Court in 2016 without seeking a competing bid from other promoters.
According to a report by the Syracuse Post-Standard, state records reveal that the no-bid contract with the fair would be worth as much as $140,000, including an incentive that would see Live Nation paid $25,000 if they can top the attendance figures of 283,000 that Chevy Court shows drew in 2015. This figure represents an increase of as much as $55,000 over what the fair paid for the shows in 2015.
According to the Post-Standard, the office of state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has approved a one-year waiver on the state's competitive bidding laws, but the contract with Live Nation has not been approved.
The move to hire Live Nation comes as the State of New York plans to rebuild Chevy Court and its stage as a part of a $50 million investment in the fairgrounds ahead of the 2016 fair.
"We approved the one-year contract which Ag & Markets requested while they undergo the fair ground overhaul, including the upgrade of their entertainment venue, which we determined was a reasonable case for not bidding at this time," Kate Gurnett, a spokeswoman for the state comptroller told the Post-Standard.
If approved, the contract with Live Nation will mark the second time in recent history that the fair has offered a no-bid deal to Live Nation for booking talent. In 2008, the company was awarded a no-bid contract worth $1 million to book the Grandstand and Chevy Court performers, a contract that added about $500,000 to the cost of booking talent over the previous year, when it was handled by a state employee.
At the time, State Fair director Dan O'Hara told the The Post-Standard that he was "Very pleased" with the results of the no-bid contract with Live Nation, telling the Post-Standard that, "We had a great 2008 concert series. We broke a lot of records. Attendance records. Gross receipts records. We had a profit at the end of last year's season." – Staff Writers