Boardwalk Hall Concert Chaos. CRDA Shakes Up Atlantic City Entertainment Policy?

How did a small concert with a very checkered past, get booked in the LARGE Boardwalk Hall? Was it sharp negotiating by the producer? Was it the lack of concert savvy by the CRDA? Or was it something else?

Listen to the ACprimetime Radio Podcast. We talk with Amanda Thomas of Boardwalk Entertainment.

Amanda Thomas
Amanda Thomas of Boardwalk Entertainment

Michael Salvanto of Songbird Entertainment teamed up with North Jersey cousin Nick Conti to present a Boardwalk Hall concert on Saturday, November 11, 2017. The line-up is WAR, Asia featuring John Payne, and Journey former lead vocalist, Steve Augeri.

This show was originally slated for Bader Field. But that fizzled. The triple-bill was also scheduled to take place in Wildwood, but was cancelled at the last minute. Who’s at fault? What’s the real reason for the cancellation?

Wildwood commissioner Pete Byron, said he was ‘kept in the dark’ about the status of the Songbird Entertainment concert, produced by Michael Salvanto.

Boardwalk Hall

Salvanto’s explanation of past concert mis-steps were smoothed over on WOND Radio on Thursday afternoon. But many listeners weren’t buying what Salvanto & the fast-talking, radio host were selling. More fact checking to follow.

Back on March 22, 2017, Atlantic City Council voted to give Songbird Entertainment a license to use Bader Field for 5 concerts. None of those planned shows happened.

3rd ward Atlantic City Councilman Kaleem Shabazz was not happy with the Salvanto experience. Snookered? Hoodwinked? Bamboozled? Or just poor vetting and escrow terms / conditions on part of the city?

Some were pleasantly surprised, others were downright shocked… that Salvanto & Songbird Entertainment were able to procure the 12,000 seat main arena of Boardwalk Hall for this cool….but really small show that might sell 3,000 tix. Might is the operative word here.

Are Bar Mitzvahs next at Boardwalk Hall?

How did this smaller show get OK’ed to play the BIG room at Boardwalk Hall? A show that was already cancelled 2 times before.

A sign of things to come for Boardwalk Hall? The CRDA is desperate to do ANYTHING with Boardwalk Hall? Not ONE person at the CRDA thought this smelled kinda funny?

Bringing in a wider variety of shows, producers and promoters. Less reliance on the expensive & questionable ROI deal with concert promoter Live Nation?

With all that CRDA money being poured into Boardwalk Hall repairs & upgrades, it’s time for that great venue to be managed & run as a visitor & revenue driver…..not just a CRDA money pit & pet project that keeps running in the red.

Maybe the CRDA should have allocated some of those Boardwalk Hall funds….to safety & crime reduction in that Florida Ave neighborhood?

Concert co-producer Nick Conti, plans to open Choice Bar n Grill soon at 470 Albany Ave in Atlantic City. (across from Skate Zone) Selvanto says: “that if it wasn’t with the help of Nick Conti, and Choice Bar & Grill, this concert would not be possible. Conti is a long time resident of Atlantic City, and business owner.

NOTE: The CRDA board of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority recently inked a $7 Million deal to attract larger events to Boardwalk Hall and the Convention Center.

The CRDA will team with Comcast NBC-Universal and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment to bring “destination events” to the two properties.

Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, the company that manages Boardwalk Hall, has recently snubbed the local Yellow Cab Company & Jitney drivers. Spectra named Lyft its official ride-sharing service.

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