The grand reopening celebration of the Times Union Center in Albany, NY took an embarrassing turn over the weekend, as the venue was forced to cancel the concert celebration due to a promoter failing to pay the deposit for the venue.
Times Union Center general manager Bob Belber rejected rumors that the cancellation was due to poor ticket sales for the event, which was to feature James Taylor and John Legend, according to the Times Union Newspaper. The concert, scheduled for Friday, was also to serve as a fundraiser for pediatric emergency department at Albany Medical Center Hospital
“This is something that was caused beyond our control,” he said. “[The promoter] failed to come up with the funding to meet obligations.”
Reportedly, the event had only sold approximately 6,000 of the some 16,000 tickets available. Belber told the Times Union that had sales been better, it would have been possible for the venue to take over promotion. But because sales were sluggish, SMG (the venue operator on behalf of Albany County) couldn’t risk the financial hit that would come with a sales flop.
“I can’t tell you how disappointed I am personally,” says Belber. We really feel bad for the county.”
Another concert celebration will be planned for later in 2018.
Times Union Center has been in the process of a $20 million renovation project, the largest such project since its opening 28 years ago. Metropolitan Entertainment Consulting, based in New York City, had been tapped to promote the grand reopening show. They had previously promoted shows at the venue, including a 1990 performance by Frank Sinatro that served as its original grand opening.
It is unclear how far short of its obligation Metropolitan was as of the decision to cancel. The Times Union said the company had not responded to a request for comment on Sunday.
‘Obviously we’re disappointed,” County Executive Dan McCoy told the newspaper. “We’re going to reschedule it and have our event there. Unfortunately, these things do happen.”