Sunday, July 16, 2017

AEG Says 'Hello Cleveland!' With Agora Theatre Deal

AEG Says 'Hello Cleveland!' With Agora Theatre Deal:

AEG Presents has acquired the operating rights to the historic Agora Theatre and Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio. The agreement, made with Chris Zitterbart, operator of the venue for several years, introduces AEG to the Cleveland market, the largest in Ohio and 32nd biggest metro area in the U.S.

AEG will begin a restoration process of the venue that will include soup-to-nuts upgrades to acoustics, lighting, sound, hospitality and guest spaces, plus refreshed dressing rooms for artists. Shawn Trell, Chief Operating Officer of AEG Presents, told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that renovations will reach into "seven figures." Financial details of the acquisition, finalized today (July 14), were not disclosed

Zitterbart will continue working at the venue, but as an AEG employee.

The Agora has had three homes since opening in 1966 -- the current building on Euclid, where the Agora moved in 1986, was built in 1913 and has a capacity of 2,000 for the theatre and 600 for its ballroom space. The Agora was founded by Henry LoConti Sr., who died in 2014.

Some acts who have taken the Agora stage include Bruce Springsteen (see below, from the Agora's second location on East 24th), Lou Reed, The Clash, U2 and At the Drive-In, among many many others. Upcoming shows include The Shins, Stabbing Westward, Danzig and Queens of the Stone Age.

"Given its history and the litany of legendary acts that have played the room, the Agora has been the heart and soul of Cleveland's live music scene for the past 50 years," said Trell "It's a truly unique concert venue and we look forward to bringing a wide array of artists to the live music loving city of Cleveland."

Zitterbart called AEG's entry into Cleveland "significant" and said the company -- with a portfolio including the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the O2 Arena in London -- "represent the best of having not only the resources necessary to grow the business, but because they also remain independently and privately owned they can afford to be patient and do things the right way."