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050330 Freedom Hill May Get Help From DTE Owners MD


									Freedom Hill may get help from DTE owners

Publication: Macomb Daily; Date:2005 Mar 30; Section:News; Page Number 8

Freedom Hill may get help from DTE owners
By Gary Graff Journal Register News Service

  The owners of the DTE Energy Music Theatre may join forces with Freedom Hill
Amphitheater, a move that could result in lower ticket prices for concert-goers.
  Palace Sports & Entertainment, which also owns the Palace of Auburn Hills and
operates Oakland University’s Meadow Brook Music Festival, is in discussions to assist
with the booking and marketing of the Jerome Duncan Ford Theatre at Freedom Hill in
Sterling Heights.
  The move would give Palace entertainment interest in the metro area’s three leading
outdoor concert facilities. DTE holds 15,000, Meadow Brook holds 7,000 and the
Freedom Hill venue has a capacity of about 5,000. The Jerome Duncan Ford Theatre is
owned by Macomb County and managed by Hillside Productions. Besides sharing
booking duties, Palace entertainment would also help handle advertising, promotions
and sponsorship sales for the Sterling Heights amphitheater.
  The cooperative booking arrangement also could put an end to bidding wars between
the facilities and, theoretically, help keep ticket prices down. Concert promoters have
blamed price increases on escalating performers’ fees that resulted from the
  Neither Palace nor Hillside Productions officials would comment on the reports, but
sources say the discussions are ongoing and an announcement of the cooperative
venture could come as soon as the end of next week.
  The Jerome Duncan Ford Theatre is in the midst of major improvements financed by a
$31 million harassment settlement with the city of Sterling Heights. The most significant
change at the theater is the construction of a pavilion roof that will cover the seated
area of the venue. The improvements are expected to be completed by mid-June.
  Three shows have already been booked there for the summer, according to the
concert trade publication PollStar: Tom Jones and Tower of Power on July 23; Huey
Lewis & the News on Aug. 3; and Travis Tritt on Aug. 5.
  The DTE season is expected to kick off May 22 with Reba McEntire, while Meadow
Brook’s first announced show is rock acts Oasis and Jet on June 18.               3/30/2005
Freedom Hill may get help from DTE owners

  Macomb Daily staff photo by Ray J. Skowronek
Construction of a pavilion roof that will cover the seated area at Freedom Hill Amphitheater in
Sterling Heights is expected to be completed by mid-June.                         3/30/2005

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