Pearl Jam & Ticketmaster Team Up For Surprising Project

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Pearl Jam members Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard testify before congress on June 30, 1994 in Ticketmaster antitrust case.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Ticketmaster’s owner is enlisting Pearl Jam in the battle to redevelop Seattle’s KeyArena. Pearl Jam’s manager, Kelly Curtis, is advising a bidding team that includes concert promotion giant Live Nation Entertainment Inc. that wants to change the venue into something that will specialize in live music with new seats and sound enhancements, much like Los Angeles’ Forum was remodeled a few years ago to become a live music hotspot.

“Music is a bigger league than any of the other [sports] leagues,” said Irving Azoff, a music manager who owns Oak View Group with Anschutz Entertainment Group’s former chief executive, Tim Leiweke. Azoff added that he thinks the involvement of Pearl Jam’s manager will help give the group credibility in Seattle.

“We dread playing it,” said Curtis about the KeyArena. He said he was motivated to join the group after Temple of the Dog’s show at Madison Square Garden, a widely acclaimed venue for live music.

Despite Pearl Jam’s 1994 antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster, Curtis said he didn’t have a problem joining the group, since Pearl Jam have done business with Ticketmaster since the congressional investigation closed in 1995, and then when Ticketmaster merged with Live Nation in 2010.

“We like doing business with the people we’ve always done business with,” Mr. Curtis said.