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VENUE NEWS: The Future of Bo Black (Click on More to view all articles)

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – The future of Bo Black, executive director of Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI since 1984, still hangs in the balance, as key members of the Summerfest board discussed Black's future in a hour-long, closed meeting, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. No action was taken.

Howard Schnoll, president of the Milwaukee World Festival Inc. board of directors, said there is no deadline to making a decision as to whether or not extend Black's contract another five years, per her request. Black's current contract expires December 31, 2003. –by Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner.

Click SMG Extends Contracts in New Orleans and San Francisco

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – SMG has been awarded contracts to extend managing the Louisiana Superdome and New Orleans Arena in New Orleans and the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The six-year extension in New Orleans begins July 1, 2006 and contains an option for the state to extend the agreement for an additional five years through 2017. SMG has managed the Superdome since July 1977 and the New Orleans Arena since June 1998. The agreement in San Francisco calls for SMG to manage the facility through June 30, 2009, which will take SMG through 28 years of managing the Moscone Center. –by Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner.

First Union Venues in Philadelphia Now Wachovia Venues

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – Comcast-Spectacor, owner and operator of the First Union Center and First Union Spectrum, both in Philadelphia, PA, has changed the names of its arenas to the Wachovia Center and Wachovia Spectrum to reflect the name change in the financial institutions.

"As the owners and operators of the arenas, Comcast-Spectacor is honoring the contract as it was agreed upon with the bank that the successor shall keep the naming rights of the facility," said Peter Luukko, president Comcast-Spectator Ventures. "Therefore, we have changed the names of the arenas to reflect the name change from First Union to Wachovia and continue to operate our arenas as the world class facilities which they are." –by Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

Park Place Bids to Build a Caesars Casino in Chicago

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – Park Place Entertainment Corporation submitted a bid on August 4 to build and operate a Caesars brand casino to serve the greater Chicago market. Planned for a site in Rosemont, IL, the proposed new casino is designed to stimulate tourism and economic development throughout the Chicagoland region by attracting new domestic and international visitors as well as local residents.

The Rosemont site is close to O'Hare International Airport, accessible from major freeways and located near the state's second-largest convention facility, the 840,000-square-foot Rosemont Convention Center. Immediately adjacent to the site are 6,000 hotel rooms and a well-developed entertainment district that includes the 18,000-seat Allstate Arena and the 4,300-seat Rosemont Theatre.

The current design calls for a Caesars branded casino resort comprising 40,000 square feet of gaming space, more than 1,100 slot machines and 34 table games, four restaurants, and four bars or beverage lounges. The project also would include a covered parking facility with more than 5,000 spaces, which is partially completed. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Developing the Rosemont site represents the best opportunity for the state of Illinois to quickly realize significant economic benefits from a new casino," said Park Place president and chief executive officer Wallace R. Barr. "The Rosemont location is easily accessible to more potential customers than any other in the state, and a significant amount of work already has gone into site preparation. That means that a new casino at Rosemont can begin delivering revenue to the state sooner than a new casino in any other location."

"Caesars is the best-known casino brand in the world. It will be a valuable asset in attracting new visitors to the Chicagoland market. Because of our diverse worldwide operations, extensive development expertise and longtime reputation for honesty and integrity, Park Place is in a unique position to deliver to the state of Illinois the kind of top-quality, intelligently operated and profitable casino that it is seeking," Barr said. — by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

N.J. Concert Equipment Cleanup Continues

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Workers are still cleaning up shards of concert equipment after a 100-by-100-foot grid buckled and lurched downward before a Justin Timberlake/Christina Aguilera show two weeks ago.

The accident forced several shows to be postponed, including the Boardwalk Hall concert in Atlantic City. The cause of the Aug. 9 collapse remains unknown.

Most shows have been rescheduled, except for the Atlantic City concert.

Jeff Vasser, executive director of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority, said Boardwalk Hall isn't ready to talk about rescheduling the concert. Once the stage is cleared, officials must start preparing for the Miss America contest, scheduled to take place Sept. 20.

Meanwhile, Timberlake and Aguilera's "Justified-Stripped" tour will be heading to Europe starting in September and lasting through November.

"I don't know if there's a chance of them coming back in between (European concerts) or after the European tour," Vasser told the Press of Atlantic City recently.

Vasser encouraged fans to keep their tickets just in case the singers decide to come back.

Hannah Kampf, a spokeswoman for tour promoter Concerts West, said she didn't know anything about rescheduling the Atlantic City show. A spokesman for Timberlake and Jive Records declined to comment.


On the Net:

Broadway's Grosses During Blackout Tumble

NEW YORK (AP) — Broadway's grosses fell last week because of the blackout — but then all but one show played seven performances instead of the usual eight.

Still, four productions, including "Hairspray," "Long Day's Journey Into Night," "Nine" and "Movin' Out," managed to sell out on the reduced playing schedule. "Hairspray" grossed nearly $876,000, down from its customary $1 million-plus take when it plays eight shows a week.

Several other musicals, such as "Mamma Mia" and "Chicago," did near capacity business, according to figures released Tuesday by the League of American Theatres and Producers.

The biggest drop was experienced by the tourist-dependent "42nd Street," which tumbled $192,063 to take in $605,328, while both "The Producers" and "Thoroughly Modern Millie" had drops of more than $180,000.

One production actually registered an uptick in business, because it played a full eight performances. "Say Goodnight Gracie," a one-man show about George Burns, took in $116,746, up from $114,381 the previous week.

On Thursdays, it plays a matinee instead of an evening performance, and the curtain had come down before the blackout hit Thursday.

Hard Rock Plans To Lend Name To South Carolina Park

ORLANDO, Florida (AP) — Hard Rock Cafe International plans to lend its name to a rock 'n roll theme park in South Carolina.

The 150-acre park in Myrtle Beach is scheduled to open in two years.

Hard Rock Park, the name of the proposed attraction, would offer a steep-loop roller coaster and other family-friendly rides, plus an outdoor stadium for live shows, a giant reproduction of Hard Rock's trademark electric guitar and other features.

The park is expected to cost about $200 million. At this point, Hard Rock has not contributed financially to the deal and only has licensed its name to developers FHTP LLC, said Chris Tomasso, a spokesman for the Orlando-based restaurant company.

Park planner Jon Binkowski, an Orlando businessman, said he and his partners were excited about the Hard Rock brand.

"We're impressed with everything that comes with the Hard Rock name," he said.

Mass. Springsteen Show to Be Accessible

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox and the promoters of two Bruce Springsteen concerts at Fenway Park have reached an agreement to make the concerts more handicapped accessible.

In response to concerns from the offices of U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and state Attorney General Thomas Reilly that the concerts may violate federal law, the Red Sox and Clear Channel Entertainment have agreed to provide extra wheelchair seating on the field. They will also make it easier for people to buy wheelchair accessible seats, and inform people buying wheelchair seats that their views may be obstructed by standing spectators.

Sullivan and Reilly made the requests after investigating complaints from handicapped people who bought or tried to buy tickets for the Sept. 6 and 7 concerts.

New B.B. King Music Club Set For Nashville in August

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – The sixth B.B. King Music Club is set to open in Nashville, TN at the end of August. Like the clubs in Universal City, CA and Memphis, TN, Tommy Peters is the primary owner. The new club is located at 152 Second Avenue in a 100 year old warehouse in the heart of Nashville's entertainment district. The club will hold 600 standees or sit 400 people. B.B. King will not be at the opening since he will still be on tour with his B.B. King Blues Music Tour, However, King will play the Nashville venue on September 29-30.

Other B.B. King Music Clubs are currently in New York City and two in the Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, CT.–by Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen