Author Topic: Van Hagar vs. Orioles  (Read 3945 times)

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Van Hagar vs. Orioles
« on: August 19, 2004, 09:25:00 am »
From Pollstar:
 
 
Quote
Van Halen Won't Play Ball
 Updated 03:12 PDT Thu, Aug 19 2004
 
 Sammy Hagar likely won't be warbling "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" in concert anytime soon, as Van Halen is accusing the Baltimore Orioles of canceling an agreed-to September 2nd concert in Orioles Park at Camden Yards.
 
  The band filed a $2 million breach of contract suit against the Orioles August 10th, alleging the ballclub reneged on a deal that would have guaranteed the classic rockers $1.5 million to play the stadium just two months after the band played at Washington, D.C.'s MCI Center in the same market area.
 
  The Orioles first contacted Van Halen's reps at William Morris Agency in April about the possibility of booking the band at the stadium during the East Coast swing of its current tour, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles and obtained by Pollstar.
 
  The band was at first "ambivalent" about playing a Maryland gig as it planned to be touring in the South during the same period, citing the "expense and inconvenience" involved and the necessity in changing the previously planned routing.
 
  Van Halen's agents also told the Orioles that an outdoor stadium gig wasn't "desirable," as the tour is primarily booked in arenas.
 
  But "the Orioles insisted that they could more than compensate Van Halen" for its troubles, according the complaint. The ballclub made an offer around April 27th for the band to play Camden Yards for a guaranteed $1 million, which the band promptly rejected.
 
  The next day, the O's sweetened the offer by boosting the guarantee to $1.5 million against 80 percent of the net ticket revenues, plus 80 percent of gross merchandise sales, among other things. This time, Van Halen was agreeable.
 
  The band and the ballclub negotiated additional terms and, in mid-June, "plaintiff orally accepted the offer ... and thereby entered into a contract, partly oral and partly written, to perform at Oriole Park," the complaint says.
 
  Also according to the suit, on about June 24th, Van Halen re-confirmed its acceptance of the Orioles' offer for a September 2nd concert in writing - including a non-compete clause preventing the band from performing elsewhere in the Baltimore-D.C. area.
 
  One could ask how meaningful that non-compete was, however, since Van Halen was playing a show the very next day at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C., one that fell well short of a sell-out, according to Pollstar's box office records.
 
  MCI's David Touhey, the venue's director of event marketing and booking, told Pollstar that Washington and Baltimore are considered to be in the same market, though he wasn't prepared to comment on Van Halen's appearance there.
 
  MCI Center's capacity is around 20,000, while Oriole Park at Camden Yards accommodates nearly 49,000 for baseball games, including standing room.
 
  Pollstar's records show Van Halen is averaging about $1 million in ticket sales per city on its reunion tour. While the group has generally done well in most markets, few of the shows have been complete sellouts.
 
  About three weeks after Van Halen's Washington show, the band claims the Orioles repudiated their deal. According to the complaint, the club initially refused to communicate or cooperate with the band, then sent a letter dated July 26th informing the band the Camden Yards gig was off.
 
  Calls placed to Don Marks, the Orioles' concerts director, were not returned at press time.
 
  Van Halen charges it had to "change the dates of other scheduled concerts and forego other concert opportunities" as well as absorb the cost of planning the aborted concert, resulting in damages in excess of $2 million.
 
  The court has not yet set a hearing date.
  The Van Halen tour is scheduled to be on the road until October 2nd.