AEG & Barclays Center owners purchasing Webster Hall (Bowery Presents taking over booking)
In 2014, NYC venue Webster Hall took over its own booking after having been booked by Bowery Presents for years. Now, Billboard reports that AEG Presents — which recently acquired Bowery Presents — is purchasing the venue, along with Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment (BSE). Bowery Presents will take over booking. Webster Hall’s current owners, the Ballinger family, owned the 131-year-old venue for 27 years (it was known as The Ritz before that).
According to the Billboard article, AEG plans to spend $10 million renovating Webster Hall’s three venues, the Grand Ballroom, the Marlin Room, and the Studio. AEG chairman Jay Marciano says they are looking “to bring them up to contemporary standards and add a few more customer features.” Here’s more:
Marciano said AEG had been looking for a venue in the 1,500-capacity range and realized “it would be cost prohibitive to try and build a venue like Webster Hall from scratch.” He says, “Knowing what I know about New York real estate, I don’t think you could build it for less than $100 million. Webster Hall is a landmark, historic building whose use as a public assembly venue dates back to the 1800s. It’s a venue that any promoter would want to have in their portfolio.”
In addition to acquiring Bowery Presents — which owns Terminal 5, Rough Trade, Music Hall of Williamsburg, and the new Brooklyn Steel, and books shows at other venues too (Bowery Ballroom and Mercury Lounge are booked by Bowery Presents but not owned by Bowery Presents) — AEG is behind NYC’s Panorama music festival, which returns for its second year this July. BSE oversees operations for Barclays Center and The New Coliseum (aka the newly renovated Nassau Coliseum).
AdHoc already left Webster Hall, but is booking NYC shows at Knockdown Center, Villain, Irving Plaza, Warsaw, and much more.