Remember when Pearl Jam and Ticketmaster were at each other's throats a couple of decades ago over service charges and ticket sale practices? Now the two are bosom buddies as they've joined forces to save a historic Seattle entertainment venue.
The group and ticket agency have formed a coalition with Live Nation, Azoff MSG Entertainment and the Oak View Group in bidding for a contract to restore and operate the city's Key Arena. The facility opened during the Seattle World's Fair in 1962 and has hosted concerts and sporting events ever since. The arena is currently owned and operated by Live Nation rival AEG.
The Pearl Jam group's bid includes renovating the arena with better acoustics and amenities, including luxury suites, citing the refurbishment of the Forum near Los Angeles as a model. There are also hints that Pearl Jam would play regular residencies at Key if its group wins the contract and that Seattle would be able to lure a professional basketball or hockey team into the arena.
Bids are due Wednesday (April 19(, with a decision expected later this year.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.