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Concord City Council Approves 10-Year Contract With Live Nation

Entertainment company to renovate Sleep Train Pavilion with $3.7 million and give Concord residents first dibs on concert tickets.

This is the view from the stage of the Sleep Train Pavilion as seen in 2013.  Photo credit: Vanessa Castañeda
This is the view from the stage of the Sleep Train Pavilion as seen in 2013. Photo credit: Vanessa Castañeda

The Sleep Train Pavilion will transform into the Concord Pavilion in 2014, after Concord City Council signed a 10-year contract on Tuesday with the venue’s management company Live Nation Entertainment Inc.

Live Nation, which has managed the venue for the past 18 years, was one of two companies that submitted operating proposals to the city manager. The proposal contained many incentives for the City of Concord that aligned with City Council’s priorities, according to City Manager Valerie Barone.

“We’re here because the council showed leadership and clear vision in what they wanted to achieve when we went back out to find an operator for the pavilion site,” Barone said.

The contract, which was unanimously ratified Tuesday, guarantees a minimum of $8,000,000 in revenue to the city over the next ten years, according to public documents. If the city renews the contract, that amount will increase from $800,000 per year to $900,000 year.  

The contract also says the venue must host at least 75 events every five years with a minimum amount of attendees, or face a penalty.  

“This is huge for the City of Concord,” said Councilmember Laura Hoffmeister.  “In the last agreement there was no penalty,” Hoffmeister said.

Prior to 2008, the venue hosted an average of 20 shows per year, according to a Live Nation spokesperson. That amount dwindled when the economic recession swept the United States. Between May and October of this year, which is prime concert season, the venue hosted 2-3 shows per month, according to livenation.com’s Sleep Train Pavilion Page.  

A Live Nation spokesperson said they are “committed to running this around,” with a revitalization initiative that will rebrand the venue and give Concord residents first dibs on event tickets. The entertainment company will spend $3.7 million on renovating the pavilion by planting new trees and building new concession facades.  Before tickets go on sale to the general public, the company will give Concord residents the option to purchase tickets to 99% of the shows. The name will change from the Sleep Train Pavilion to the Concord Pavilion. 

Former Mayor Dan Helix, who was a public official when the original contract was signed, said he was elated that the pavilion would be restored to glory. Helix said witnessing the decline of this venue was one of the reasons he returned to the political arena. 

“I’m happy to see this, to know that it’s going to be the Concord Pavilion again,” Helix said. He even brought a sweatshirt with the old Concord Pavilion logo to the dais to remind council of the merchandising opportunities presented by this venue. He told City staff who are tasked with creating a new logo for the venue that they could borrow his sweatshirt and use that design.

“Just bring it back laundered,” Helix said. 

Live Nation’s spokesperson said they plan to host grand reopening in the spring of 2014. The first big concert that is scheduled to come to Concord is the classic rock band called Journey. 

Karen Summers December 14, 2013 at 12:56 AM
Well L.N. and Ticket Master are the same, and they charge between 14.50 and 16.00 a ticket for their "Convenience charge" just what convenience are we being robbed for? Not impressed! Drop that charge, because where ever we buy a ticket, that seriously insulting and ripp off charge is applied.... I stopped going to shows, as MANY of my friends have because we feel as though we are being insulted and robbed. Kas
Vanessa Castañeda (Editor) December 17, 2013 at 06:38 PM
It is getting more and more expensive to go to concerts.

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