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VENUE NEWS (Click on More to view all articles): CCE To Build New Tampa Shed

After months of negotiations between the Florida State Fair Authority and Clear Channel Entertainment, the Authority voted on September 18 to move ahead on a $9 million deal to build a 20,000-capacity amphitheater on the fairgrounds. At the Authority's next meeting in October, a contract, drawn up by both sides, will be presented. If all things go as scheduled, the amphitheater could open in 2004.

"We are elated to be in Tampa, to be talking to the fair authority," G. Wilson Rogers, vice president of operations for Clear Channel's southeastern music division, said in the Tampa Tribune. "We're hopeful for a successful conclusion. It's a great market. We're satisfied this is a great location, very accessible to the Tampa Bay area and to mid-Florida."

El Rey Theater Closed Indefinitely

Ceiling damage inside the El Rey Theater, which forced the evacuation of about 150 people on the evening of September 15, has indefinitely closed the Art Deco landmark.

According to Building and Safety spokesperson Bob Steinbach, the L.A. Fire Department and Department of Building and Safety inspectors were called to the club after the venue's management became concerned about lighting equipment being hung from the trusses, reports the Los Angeles Independent.

A production company filming an NBC-TV special featuring singer Faith Hill, while hanging the lighting equipment, caused two of the trusses to crack which caused fears that the ceiling might collapse, said Steinbach.

A second inspection the following day confirmed the trusses were damaged, and the theater was ordered closed until the damage was repaired.

"The building is still in sound condition," said Steinbeck. "It's not an imminent hazard. But any time you have damage to trusses, you wouldn't want people
underneath them."

According to the El Rey Web site, only the September 18-19
Sleater-Kinney shows had been moved to another venue, "The

Judge OKs Plan for Boston Opera House

BOSTON (AP) — A Superior Court judge approved plans to revive and expand Boston's Opera House, ending a yearlong dispute between the city and residents of a nearby condominium complex.

Clear Channel Entertainment, the world's largest presenter of live entertainment, plans to proceed with a $30 million development that would extend the 2,500-seat hall onto a neighboring street, and convert it into a major performance center.

The Opera House, modeled on the Paris Opera House, closed in 1991 because Sarah Caldwell and her Opera Company of Boston were behind in mortgage payments, and the city declared the property a public safety hazard. After the building fell into disrepair, Caldwell optioned it to Houston-based Theatre Management Group, now part of Clear Channel, which planned to restore it with the city's help.

Refurbishment plans included expanding onto a street between the Opera House and a neighboring condominium complex.

When plans were announced last year, residents of Tremont on the Common filed a lawsuit, challenging the city's right to take any piece of the street for "private purposes." They say the Opera House expansion would be a nuisance and a safety hazard because delivery and fire trucks would be unable to drive to the back entrance of the condominium complex.

On Monday, Judge Margot Botsford upheld the city's authority to allow the expansion.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino called the ruling "a huge step forward" for preservation and the arts in Boston. The Opera House development is one of four theater revitalization projects in the city.

RBC Centura Banks Acquires Naming Rights In Raleigh

RBC Centura Banks has acquired the naming rights for the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Raleigh, NC, in a $4 million per year deal for the next 20 years. The arena will now be known as the RBC Center.