U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, once a vocal critic of Live Nation who later tried to work with the company, has reached out to the concert promoter and ticketer on behalf of Old Falls Street, an outdoor concert district in Niagara Falls.
Schumer this week sent a letter to Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino urging him to promote a concert series in the Upstate New York city, which Schumer believes will be an economic boon to the region. The senator hopes that Rapino will schedule a meeting with city officials in the near future.
“The Niagara Falls waterfront is a stunning and unique place to hold a concert series, and I can think of no better outfit than industry leader Live Nation,” Schumer said in a statement. “They could book marquee acts that would be a magnet to attract thousands of new visitors to Niagara Falls and would synergize with existing attractions like the Falls themselves, the casino and the emerging culinary institute.”
Schumer has a colorful recent history with Live Nation. He initially opposed the company’s merger with Ticketmaster, but after meeting with the company, he changed his tune and proposed legislation that would benefit the company in its fight with ticket brokers by delaying when brokers could buy tickets for resale. The legislation went nowhere, but the move angered the secondary ticket community.
In the letter, Schumer states that Western New York residents have supported concerts for years and would continue to do so with new shows in the region. “The City and the USA Niagara Development Corporation are committed to the long-term redevelopment of the City’s downtown and are ready and able to work with you on the preliminary assessments you require in choosing new venues.”
In recent years, Western New York has been hard hit by the nation’s economic downturn, and two of its main attractions, the Buffalo Bills football team and the Buffalo Sabres hockey team, have been the focus of possible relocation speculation. “Bringing Live Nation to Niagara Falls would be an important part of reconnecting local residents and tourists alike with the waterfront,” Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster said in a statement.
“In conclusion, I strongly believe that Live Nation has an historic opportunity to bring marquee entertainment to one of the nation and the world’s great natural marvels,” Schumer wrote in the letter. “While the development history of Niagara Falls has a tortured legacy, the tide is clearly turning in favor of the tourist and the local economy as new development and planning means greater access to the recreational opportunities the City has to offer. I implore you to be a part of this new history of Niagara Falls and work with us to make the next great Live Nation concert series at America’s great Niagara Falls.”