The AEG Presents division of sports and entertainment giant AEG has acquired the operating rights to the iconic Agora Theatre and Ballroom in Cleveland.

The move to take on the Agora adds another theatre to AEG’s vast portfolio of more than 60 theatres and clubs across the US.

The Agora, which first opened in 1966, is located in downtown Cleveland and has a 2,000-seat theatre and 600-capacity ballroom. It was founded by Henry ‘Hank’ LoConti Sr., who was a driving force in the early rise of rock ‘n’ roll.

In the 1970s and 1980s, LoConti gave exposure to hundreds of artists, including such icons as Bruce Springsteen, U2, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, The Clash, Duran Duran and ZZ Top.

AEG has laid out plans to invest capital into the theatre, while also restoring some of the most iconic features on the building. The company will also oversee upgrades to the theatre’s acoustical design, lighting, sound systems, hospitality spaces, dressing rooms and guest amenities.

“Given its history and the litany of legendary acts that have played the room, the Agora has been the heart and soul of Cleveland’s live music scene for the past 50 years. It’s a truly unique concert venue and we look forward to bringing a wide array of artists to the live music loving city of Cleveland,” said Shawn Trell, chief operating officer of AEG Presents.

Chris Zitterbart, operator of the Agora Theatre for the past four years, said: “The opportunity to work with AEG Presents and to have them enter the Cleveland music scene is significant.

“They represent the best of having not only the resources necessary to grow the business, but because they also remain independently and privately owned they can afford to be patient and do things the right way. That combination bodes well for the future of the Agora Theatre and the types of shows they will bring to this market.”

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