Prosper Portland Commissions Study on Potential Live Nation Venue in Southeast Portland

It’s at the behest of the mayor’s office and independent venue advocacy group MusicPortland, both parties that are dubious of Live Nation’s proposed concert venue.

This summer, WW first reported that event promotion giant Live Nation was eyeing Portland for its next urban music venue: a 3,000-capacity indoor music hall.

That sent shivers up the spines of everyone in the city who cherishes Portland for its vibrant independent music scene, and those who own its music venues. That’s because Live Nation is known as an aggressive company that siphons off performers from playing at locally owned venues because it sets up exclusive contracts with artists.

The company merged with the ticket-selling mega-platform Ticketmaster in 2010, which is often seen as another company that has a monopoly over the ticket industry and can use that power to manipulate exorbitant ticket prices.

The latest scandal emerged when Ticketmaster failed to handle intense online demand for Taylor Swift’s upcoming tour, for which the company was admonished by America’s sweetheart herself. The Ticketmaster meltdown two weeks ago renewed calls for an antitrust investigation into Ticketmaster and Live Nation.

On the local level, the city of Portland isn’t acquiescing to the proposed Live Nation venue without further exploration.

Within the past month, in a series of meetings and talks, the mayor’s office, Live Nation, Beam Development (the developer of the venue), local music nonprofit MusicPortland, and Prosper Portland, the city’s economic development bureau, agreed that Prosper would fund an independent analysis of the economic effects of bringing a Live Nation venue to Portland.

Prosper spokesman Shawn Uhlman tells WW it’s paying Johnson Economics $18,200 for the analysis, which should be completed within the next few months. The mayor’s office and MusicPortland submitted questions to Prosper that it wished to incorporate into the analysis, including questions around Live Nation’s effects on other local music economies.

The venue proposal is still in its infancy. Developers have only undergone a preconference application with the city, meaning it submitted its design plan and city bureaus offered feedback on potential planning and transportation conflicts that may arise.