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Baltimore nears contract with new manager for Pier Six Pavilion

Baltimore nears contract with new manager for Pier Six Pavilion

The Baltimore Development Corp. announced on Thursday that it had entered into exclusive negotiations with Live Nation and SMG to take over management of the city's Pier Six Pavilion.

The seven-year contract to manage the Inner Harbor concert venue would take effect in 2017 and could be extended for another three years. Any deal is subject to approval by the Board of Estimates.

If approved, Live National and SMG would replace The Cordish Cos., which did not apply to renew its contract.

"We're grateful that the BDC sees that Live Nation and SMG are uniquely positioned to take the Pier 6 Pavilion to the next level with premier live entertainment experiences and strategic commerce opportunities," said Wilson Howard, a regional president for Live Nation, in a statement. "We look forward to continuing conversations about what we can bring to the venue and the community."

Live Nation and SMG were among three groups to respond to the BDC's request for proposals for a new vendor. AEG and the Rams Head Group, which operated the venue under Cordish's contract for 10 years, also applied.

"I would like to thank the Rams Head Group for their hard work and dedication over the last decade to successfully reposition Pier Six as premier concert venue," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in a statement. "I am confident that Live Nation & SMG will be able to further build on that success."

In a statement, Rams Head said it was proud to have supported Baltimore by providing programming at Pier Six for the past 10 years.

"As a family-owned business, Rams Head is honored to have contributed to the city's economic growth and development. Rams Head would like to thank their hardworking team for their 10 years of support and is grateful to have collaborated with so many dedicated partners," the company said in a statement.

The city chose to move forward with Live Nation and SMG because their proposal "provided the most optimal returns to the City and offered the largest capital improvement program," according to a statement from the BDC.

Those terms were not disclosed.

In its request for proposals, the BDC sought a venue manager who could increase the number of events held at Pier Six, extend the length of the concert season, increase the venue's profitability and create a capital improvement program to fund upgrades.

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.

sarah.gantz@baltsun.com

twitter.com/sarahgantz

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