Nederlander Concerts has struck a deal with Team San Jose for the former to be the exclusive talent booker for the 3,000-seat Civic Auditorium in San Jose, Calif.

"I've always had an interest in [San Jose] because of the lack of attention to the market," Nederlander Concerts CEO Adam Friedman tells Billboard.biz. "I always thought there was an opportunity there for small- to mid-size venues that currently don't really exist."

Nederlander has big plans for the Civic Auditorium, which is currently undergoing a $13 million renovation. The upgrades include a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system, new seating, and additional restrooms and concessions. Along with hosting concerts from all genres of music, Nederlander plans to book cultural events, sporting events and corporate events, Friedman says.

Nederlander is the exclusive promoter for the Civic Auditorium, but Friedman points out that the company has "agreed to remain open to allowing event organizers to come in. That's no different than what we do in all of our current venues anyway. We are not folks who keep people out."

Along with the Civic Auditorium, Nederlander also exclusively operates and programs the Greek Theatre (Los Angeles), Grove of Anaheim (Anaheim, Calif.) and Santa Barbara Bowl (Santa Barbara, Calif.). The company also promotes events at other arenas, theaters and clubs in California, Arizona and Colorado.

Friedman says he is currently putting together a team to oversee the Civic Auditorium. "We are going to be putting in place a very qualified local team that will work with our headquarters here in Los Angeles and the buyers we have on our other projects to make sure we're leveraging our assets for the benefit of each other," he notes.

Friedman says San Jose is an untapped market for mid-size concerts, and believes that booking agents, managers and artists will agree that the city routes well with San Fransisco and other surrounding markets. "The reason they haven't stopped is because no one has been advocating in that way," he says.

Dan Fenton, president/CEO of the San Jose Convention Center Bureau and CEO of Team San Jose, agrees that the market is ready for a new mid-size facility. "We're convinced that the South Bay and San Jose is a market that is in need of an active 3,000-seat venue," he tells Billboard.biz. "The Civic has been less active than it should be, but we think that history points to the fact that it can and will be a place that is somewhat iconic in the future for San Jose."

Managed by Team San Jose, the Civic Auditorium opened in 1934. Since then, the building has hosted concerts by the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly, the Grateful Dead, the Who, Barbra Streisand, Cream, Duke Ellington, My Chemical Romance, Kelly Clarkson, Snoop Dogg and Billy Idol, among many others.

Along with the Civic Auditorium, Friedman expects to lock down more promotion deals with mid-size venues in the coming year. Last year, Nederlander became the exclusive talent booker for Viejas Entertainment and Production venues. "The right pace for us is adding on other cache assets that fit within and leverage our current portfolio of mid-size venues," he says. "The next announcement you hear will fit that pocket exactly like the San Jose Civic does."

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