I-Team finds answers when man shut out of concert venue - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

I-Team finds answers when man shut out of concert venue

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SYLVANIA, Ohio -

Shut out and told he could take his show some place else.  That's what a Napoleon man says happened when he tried bringing a ‘dueling piano' show to a publicly funded concert venue, Centennial Terrace in Sylvania. 

Now the 13abc I-Team is looking for answers as to why he was told he could not hold the show there and why there's no written policy as to who can use the venue.

The facility is funded in part through tax money in something called the Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District (SAJRD).  New levy money was approved for the district by voters just last year.

In 2010 for example, the funding from the SAJRD to Centennial Terrace and the Quarry next door was $610,000.  But some people are being shut out from holding an even there.

"What's your best idea?  What's worked for you?  I told him dueling pianos," said Dave Sheperd, who was trying to book the dueling piano event.  "In my experience this is one of the most profitable and crowd drawing promotions that you can do."

"It's just that we're just trying it in an outdoor venue and we thought that was the perfect place," said Sheperd.

"I said I think that's sort of a stretch, was exactly the term I used, for our facility.  In that we're a pretty big facility and I didn't feel that that size of show was appropriate probably for Centennial Terrace," said Ken Katafias, the operations manager for Centennial Terrace.

Katafias said in an email to Sheperd, ‘I am turning down your request to rent Centennial Terrace for a show this coming summer.'

Katafias says several factors came into play.  For one, the date requested, July 20th, was on hold for a national act to be booked by a Florida promoter.

"That coupled with the fact that I didn't think it was a show that would have done very well at Centennial.  I told him I thought it would be a 100-200 person gate," said Katafias. 

"We expected to be greeted with open arms to be honest," said Sheperd. 

Sheperd's concern is that with a publicly funded facility and a group ready to pay to use it, access should have been easier.  So who does get access?  It turns out there is no written criteria as to who can use it.

"I think the difficulty would be in such a variety of events to try and put something on paper might be a challenge at best," said SAJRD board president John Pristash. 

So who does make the final call?  Katafias says for local acts, he does. 

The 13abc I-team asked if there is any sort of rule in determining which shows are appropriate for Centennial Terrace. 

"I would say for the most part it's just experience and what I feel might be or might not be appropriate," said Katafias. 

 As for the national act, Trace Adkins, he ended up being booked for August.

"It doesn't make any sense for me to book something in a venue and exclude the chance of bringing in a national act where it would be very beneficial financially, potentially, for us as opposed to something I really didn't think was going to be very successful," said Katafias.   

"We are so happy with the city of Toledo," said Sheperd, who has now booked his event at Promenade Park on Toledo's riverfront.  "It's the most wonderful group of people to work with so far," said Sheperd.   

This space has the potential for far more than the 3500 Centennial Terrace can hold.

The 13abc I-team asked further questions about eligibility to use the venue.  For example does it matter if the show draws 50 people or far more to have an event booked there. 

"There is a portion of it when you are looked at as if something is not a positive in that somebody goes there and has a bad experience because it's not a quality show or there's not really enough people there to make it enjoyable for a lot of people.  Then that possibly puts a taste in someone's mouth that says I was there for that and it really wasn't very good.  And they may not buy a ticket to something in the future," said Katafias.    

"We will put on a fabulous show.  It would have been a fabulous show at Centennial Terrace as well," said Sheperd. 

Sheperd's show is called Party on the Promenade and will be held on July 20th

Centennial Terrace had nothing booked on that July 20th date until a few days ago.  The Disco Party was originally scheduled for June 29th.  But because of inclement weather that weekend, the new date is July20th. 

Party on the Promenade Facebook page

Centennial Terrace website

 

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