AEG Live, the concert promotion arm of Los Angeles-based AEG, has purchased two of Seattle's largest clubs -- the 1,147-capacity Showbox at the Market, and the 1,511-capacity Showbox SoDo -- from former owner Jeff Steichen, who will stay on as GM.

The recent club acquisitions give AEG Live, which exclusively books Seattle's 7,000-seat WaMu Theater at Qwest Field, a stronger presence in the marketplace, says AEG Live Northwest regional marketing director/talent buyer Andrew Roe.

"We wanted to partner with the best club operators to develop artists on the club level, then graduate them up to that mid-level venue, which is the WaMu Theater," Roe tells Billboard.biz. "Now we have that intermediary step."

Roe adds that each club will be an "open shop" to local promoters. "Nothing is really going to change ... we've offered them support," he notes. "Should they choose to improve things or do it more efficiently, we now have the ability to help them out."

Along with Steichen, longtime venue operator Chad Queirolo will serve as talent buyer and manager for both clubs, which sit approximately two miles apart. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In addition to the WaMu Theater, AEG Live's Seattle office, which opened a little more than a year ago, exclusively books the Grandstand concerts at the Puyallup Fair. The company also takes a producer/promoter role in the city's annual Bumbershoot festival.