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California U. severing contract with concert venue group

on August 27, 2013 9:44 AM

CALIFORNIA, Pa. (AP) — California University of Pennsylvania is ending its contract with an Iowa company that manages the school's new $59 million convocation center.

School officials say they couldn't afford to keep paying VenuWorks, of Ames, Iowa, to run the facility that has been criticized by some as too costly and not drawing sufficient crowds. An April 2012 concert by Kenny Rogers sold fewer than 2,000 tickets at the 6,000-seat venue, and a Bob Dylan concert in April was also less than half full.

The venue lost about $400,000 from nearly 100 events held in the first 16 months the center was open, according to a published report.

An official with VenuWorks says it is “incredibly difficult to book and secure events for all arenas in all markets in today's world.”

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