Metropolitan Out At CMAC

CANANDAIGUA, NY (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — After a two-year stint, John Scher's Metropolitan Talent has amicably stepped away from their booking agreement with Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (CMAC). The venue has already lined up a replacement to book the venue's 2010 season and retained New York-based Bowery Entertainment to step in.

Metropolitan's decision to break with CMAC was based, in part, on the venue's remote location and Scher expressed concerns about CMAC's potential to operate profitably.

"When we first met with them," Scher told the The Democrat & Chronicle, "I told them, 'If you had met with me before you broke ground, I would have told you don't build the place.' They're saddled with a huge amount of debt from building the place. I don't want to be negative about CMAC, but I wanted to be honest when they came to us about promoting the venue. We told them the truth: I don't know if you can ever make money."

CMAC opened four years ago after a $13.6 million build on the former sight of the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center and Metropolitan came aboard in 2007. While the caliber of acts appearing at the shed improved once Metropolitan took over booking operations, the venue struggled to turn a profit.

Scher also pointed to stiff competition from Live Nation at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center which has a number of advantages over CMAC including higher capacity and proximity to the city of Buffalo.

"CMAC is in a beautiful area, it's a beautiful facility," Scher told the The Democrat & Chronicle, "But it draws entirely from the greater Rochester area. It's naive to think that because their facility is nicer than Darien, that that would matter to the majority of acts. The cold, hard reality of the business now — and this is deflating for people for whom these acts are their heroes — they don't care about the facility. They have to make money."

According to the The Democrat & Chronicle, Bowery Presents will be pursuing a different strategy at CMAC and they won't be going after as many big ticket acts. "There's a lot more out there than what gets packaged for the sheds." Bowery's Jon Moore said. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers