4

HGO, Symphony Officials Fear City Will Shaft Them in Favor of Convention Center

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Representatives from the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Symphony went before City Council this afternoon to say a) they're worried privatizing the operations of key downtown facilities will end up favoring the George R. Brown Convention Center, and b) even though the plan is to be voted on tomorrow, they only received a copy of it around noon today.

Glen Rosenbaum, HGO's chairman of the board, told council that the Wortham Theater, which was built with private funds on city land, will need $60-$70 million in repairs and renovations a few years down the road.

He said he's concerned that if the GRB, the Wortham and Jones Hall are run by a private corporation instead of the city, the GRB will get the bulk of whatever money there will be for capital expenditures on renovations and maintenance.

"If both the Wortham Theater and the George R. Brown need $10 million in a given year and there's only a total of $10 million available," he said, "the $10 million should be split evenly" and not all go to the GRB.

The current contract being considered does not stipulate that, he said.

Houston Symphony President Bobby Tudor also spoke at the council hearing, expressing the same concerns.

The proposal is on the agenda for approval tomorrow, but several councilmembers expressed hope that a vote could be delayed.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.