3 pro­pos­als sub­mit­ted for Pier Six con­tract

Lo­cal Rams Head Group, large con­cert pro­mot­ers vie to man­age the venue

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Sarah Gantz sarah.gantz@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/sarah­gantz

Four en­ter­tain­ment com­pa­nies — the lo­cal Rams Head Group and three of the largest con­cert pro­mot­ers in the coun­try — are vy­ing to be the next man­ager of Bal­ti­more’s Pier Six Pav­il­ion.

The Bal­ti­more De­vel­op­ment Corp. on Thurs­day re­viewed pro­pos­als from Rams Head, AEG and a joint pro­posal from Live Na­tion and SMG for a seven-year con­tract to man­age the In­ner Har­bor mu­sic venue.

In a ses­sion that was closed to the pub­lic, the board voted to rec­om­mend one of the pro­pos­als to Mayor Stephanie Rawl­ings-Blake but de­clined to say which. The board’s rec­om­men­da­tion will be­come pub­lic only if it re­ceives ap­proval from the mayor and moves to the Board of Es­ti­mates, said Su­san Yum, a BDC spokes­woman.

The BDC in Jan­uary an­nounced plans to seek a new man­ager for Pier Six when its con­tract with cur­rent man­ager The Cordish Cos. ex­pires at the end of the year.

Cordish, which first won a con­tract to man­age the venue in 1998, did not sub­mit a pro­posal. Rams Head has op­er­ated the venue for Cordish for 10 years.

The BDCis seek­ing a man­ager will­ing to in­vest in cap­i­tal im­prove­ments, pos­si­bly in­clud­ing up­dates to seat­ing and the venue’s thin­ning ten­cel tent cover. The board also wants a man­ager with a plan to in­crease the num­ber of events held at Pier Six and max­i­mize its earn­ing po­ten­tial.

The venue seats 3,341 un­der its tent and can ac­com­mo­date an ad­di­tional 1,000 con­cert­go­ers on the lawn. It re­ported gross rev­enue of $4.9 mil­lion, in­clud­ing $3.2 mil­lion in ticket rev­enue, in 2015. Over the last five years, Pier Six hosted an av­er­age of 26 per­for­mances a year.

“The Pier Six Pav­il­ion fa­cil­ity has reached a point where sig­nif­i­cant money needs to be in­vested in the city-owned prop­erty,” said Bill Muehlhauser, Rams Head’s founder and CEO, who touted the “con­sis­tently di­verse con­cert lineup” his com­pany has de­liv­ered.

Rams Head Group also op­er­ates Rams Head On Stage, Rams Head Road­house and Rams Head Tav­ern in An­napo­lis, as well as a sec­ond tav­ern in Sav­age Mills.

The two other pro­pos­als come from much larger con­cert pro­mot­ers with a na­tional reach.

AEG op­er­ates some of the na­tion’s Mu­sic venue Pier Six Pav­il­ion re­ported gross rev­enue of $4.9 mil­lion in 2015. largest venues, in­clud­ing the Sta­ples Cen­ter in Los An­ge­les, owns 14 pro­fes­sional sports teams and has four tour­ing di­vi­sions that send per­form­ers on tours through AEG’s venues. AEG also runs Rams Head Live in Bal­ti­more and the Fire­fly Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in Delaware.

SMG op­er­ates dozens of sta­di­ums and are­nas, in­clud­ing the Su­per­dome in Louisiana and Bal­ti­more’s Royal Farms Arena. Its part­ner, Live Na­tion, also has a na­tional net­work of large and small venues, in­clud­ing the Fill­more Sil­ver Spring, the Warner The­atre in Wash­ing­ton and Jiffy Lube Live in North­ern Vir­ginia.

Nei­ther AEG nor Live Na­tion replied to a re­quest for com­ment, while SMG de­clined to com­ment.

The Pier Six con­tract is for seven years, be­gin­ning in 2017, with the pos­si­bil­ity to re­new for an­other three years.

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