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Portsmouth pavilion concert promoter sues city over closed venue

IMGoing said the city's inaction and mishandling of repairs to the pavilion have led to significant financial losses as concerts have been canceled.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A concert promoter is suing the City of Portsmouth, weeks after the city shut down the Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion for the year due to structural issues with the venue's roof.

In its lawsuit, IMGoing said the city has not been upfront about the the pavilion's damages and the work needed for repairs.  

The pavilion's problems began in May of 2018, when a routine inspection of the pavilion found a safety issue created by a 5/8-inch to 3/4-inch crack in one of its masts. The pavilion has been closed for most musical acts since then as repairs were underway.  It was originally supposed to reopen in June, but the city claimed additional structural issues were discovered, forcing the pavilion to remain closed for 2019.

IMGoing said it has accrued more than $1 million in lost revenue due to the 2018 and 2019 closures, as well as loss of sponsor revenue.

"Despite the City's assurances that it understood the harm caused to IMGoing for the season and would treat IMGoing like a partner, the City never provided any substantive response to IMGoing's claim of damages," IMGoing said in its lawsuit.

The promoter is asking for nearly $4.5 million to cover past losses and anticipated further damages and fees.

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