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The Greek Saga Continues As LA City Council Rejects LN Bid

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — The battle for control of the Greek Theatre took a turn for the unexpected today after The Los Angeles City Council rejected the recommendation of the Department of Recreation and Parks for Live Nation to take over as concessionaire from Nederlander at the historic Greek Theatre.

However, the 11-3 vote was non-binding and will result in the matter being returned to the Department of Recreation and Parks, who have the final say over the awarding of the contract. The Department of Recreation and Parks previously sided with Live Nation over a bid from a consortium of AEG/Nederlander last October following a contentious bidding process.

As well, a city attorney in a letter obtained by the Los Angeles Times argued that the City Council taking action to override the commission's choice of Live Nation would likely be seen as a violation of the city's contracting rules and expose the city to potential legal action.

However, Nederlander Concerts chief executive Alex Hodges reacted to the city council's decision as if it was a victory. In a statement issued after the hearing, Nederlander CEO Alex Hodges said:

"Today was great day for Nederlander / AEG Live. We are pleased that the City Council voted to reject Live Nation and send the matter back to the Department of Recreation and Parks. We are not alone, over 30,000 fans have signed a petition in support of the Nederlander / AEG Live proposal and 12 Neighborhood Councils representing more than 240,000 Angelenos have also called on the City for a more robust and transparent evaluation. We are grateful for all the community support and know our proposal is the most fiscally responsible for the City and reflects the best of LA. We look forward to working with the Department and the Commission and are confident that our proposal is the right choice for the City and will bring this iconic landmark into the future, while respecting its past."

In a separate statement, a spokesperson for Live Nation said:

"Unfortunately, today's action by the City Council puts aside the clear and unanimous findings of the lengthy, comprehensive and competitive bidding process established by the City for the Greek Theatre concession contract.

"Based on the strength of our vision for the Greek, Live Nation was the unanimous choice of the expert evaluation panel, Recreation and Parks staff and the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners. It was a clear victory: Live Nation scored 91% of all possible points; Nederlander/AEG received 79%. Live Nation's financial bid is superior, generating important long-term revenues to fund Recreation and Parks Department initiatives citywide. Live Nation's bid also invests far more in the Greek Theatre, an aging venue that has suffered from chronic underinvestment, maintenance challenges and unfulfilled promises under Nederlander's management." – Staff Writers