“What if we could guarantee you more, bigger, better concerts at the Amphitheater, thus increasing your revenue—without costing you a single penny more?”
That’s the question Roger Dickson of TRZ Entertainment brought to Council several months ago.
But doesn’t that sound too good to be true? Who gets something for nothing? No one, of course. But Mr. Dickson and TRZ weren’t lying: they weren’t asking for a single penny more than we’ve been giving them.
What they did ask was for us to “put a little more skin in the game,” to make a bigger investment—not in cash, but in commitment level. They asked for a 5-year contract for management of the amphitheater. Up until now, they’ve been getting a one-year contract every year.
What do we get in return? Exactly what they promised—but we’re not relying on their word for it. A couple months ago, TRZ presented us with an economic impact study, conducted by an expert third party at their expense, illustrating the huge gains we would receive from a stronger concert schedule. This data, provided at Council’s request, drove our decision to approve the 5-year contract at last night’s Council meeting. Those bigger, better, more impactful concerts will come because TRZ is investing in a long-term contract with Live Nation, the largest live entertainment company in America. This is something TRZ would be unable to do without a longer term commitment from the City.
This new agreement guarantees a better concert schedule—with more big-name entertainers. This is possible (in part) because, as the largest live entertainment company in the country, Live Nation is able to buy full concert series and schedule whole tours across the country at the various concert venues with whom they contract. And this means a bigger economic impact for Simpsonville.
This was no overnight decision, nor one we took lightly: it was something that TRZ and the City have been working on for some time. And last night, we finally arrived at a contract to which both parties agreed. Council unanimously approved the new contract after an Executive Session to review that final contract.
Many thanks to Mr. Roger Dickson from TRZ, Mr. Robbie Davis (Department Head, Simpsonville Parks & Recreation), Mr. Eddie Case (former City Administrator), Mr. Wesley Williams (current City Administrator), and Mr. David Holmes (City Attorney) for all of their hard work on this project. Thanks to their efforts, we will now have one of the best concert venues in South Carolina—and Simpsonville will reap the rewards of its success.