SAVANNAH, GA (CelebrityAccess) — In a hotly-contested vote, Oak View Group has been selected by the Savannah City Council to manage the still-under-construction Savannah Arena.
According to Connect Savannah, the City Council picked OVG in a contentious 5-3 vote, beating out other bidders for the project, including venue management firm SMG.
The $87,500 contract with Oak View Group is an initial agreement to provide consultation and assistance in the phased planning and construction process ahead of the arena’s planned 2021 opening, the Savannah Morning News reported.
Under the terms of the proposal, OVG’s will take on the risks associated with arena ownership as well as responsibility for operational expenses and losses, the Morning News said.
The deal will also see OVG pay $200,000 in annual rent to Savannah over the life of the contract, as well as a share of revenue based on net profits.
SMG’s attorney, Harold Buckley Jr., formally challenged the decision favorable to SMG, noting that OVG had failed to comply with the bidding process by submitting three years of audited financial statements, as stipulated by the request for proposal, and questioned OVG’s use of 75-percent Disadvantaged Business Enterprise participation rate, which Buckley says played a role in their successful bid.
However, the appeal was overruled, with City Manager Rob Hernandez noting that OVG did not initially submit the financials because the company had been concerned about the public disclosure of confidential information and agreed to share the information privately with council members, the Morning News reported.
As well, Mayor Pro Tem Carol Bell, who has a relative who is seeking work as a subcontractor from OVG, recused herself from the vote.