Live Nation set to take over Bayfront amphitheatre
By Risa Polansky
Live Nation, the national concert promoter that runs Miami Beach's Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason Theater, is poised to take over management and operations of downtown Miami's Bayfront Park Amphitheatre after commissioners last week authorized the park's trust to negotiate with the California-based company.
The deal would garner the city $650,000 a year as well as enhance the range of entertainment options in the park, said Tim Schmand, executive director of the Bayfront Park Management Trust.
Live Nation has offered also to take on the costs of improvements to the amphitheatre, managed by the trust since 1987, in exchange for all operations revenues.
The company would replace the amphitheatre's stage, install new food and beverage locations, replace the existing bench seating with individual stadium-style seating and build 10, four-person corporate boxes, according to a proposal submitted in response to the trust's request for letters of interest.
Live Nation would consider in the future adding a restaurant, rooftop lounge, new stage roof and other improvements, the proposal says.
Under the trust's management now, "we do shows and we make money" at the amphitheatre, Mr. Schmand said. "This would be the next step toward a sophisticated corporate operation."
Live Nation, he said, has "access to artists and touring operations that we, as the trust, don't have," he said. "So we think it will be a good thing for downtown."
The city has about 90 days to negotiate with the company.
Should they finalize a contract, Live Nation would begin its tenure — which could start at about 10 years depending on the agreement — "shortly thereafter," Mr. Schmand said.
A spokesperson said Live Nation does not comment on pending deals.
The park is to also see an upgraded marquee after commissioners voted to authorize Mr. Schmand to enter into a five-year contract with Ad Systems, Inc. for the purchase, installation, operation and maintenance of new sign to replace the park's current marker.