The City Council took no action Monday night on proposed new fees that concert promoters and organizations would have to pay to rent the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
The council delayed voting on the proposed fees after Councilmen Joseph M. Butler Jr. and Jeffrey M. Smith said they wanted more information.
“This needs more discussion, in my opinion,” Mr. Butler said.
Last week, city staff had proposed charging flat fees for patron parking and for operating food concessions at concerts and other events. Under the changes, the Disabled Persons Action Organization and other promoters would have to pay the city $1,500 in new parking fees for shows held inside the municipal arena or $3,000 for outdoor events at the city-owned fairgrounds. It would be up to the concert promoter to decide how much to charge ticket-buyers for parking. In the past, city employees collected a parking fee from each car. Concert promoters and vendors also would be charged either a flat fee of $250 to share food concession sales with the city or $1,000 if the city's concession stand is closed and they sell food on their own.
Under the current fee structure, promoters pay 10 percent of gross revenues for food concessions, $1,000 for rent and $500 each for setup on the day before the show and take-down the following day.
On Monday night, Joseph L. Rich, the DPAO's former executive director and now volunteer, maintained his opposition to the new parking fees, saying it would not be fair unless all organizations that use the fairgrounds would be made to charge for parking.
He also told council members that the DPAO takes a risk to present concerts and that one of the four shows held this past summer lost money, although he did not identify which one.
“We don't want to be the only one holding the bag, and sometimes we think we are,” Mr. Rich said.
After the meeting, Parks and Recreation Department Superintendent Erin E. Gardner said it cost the city $19,739.44 in staff pay and for installing electrical equipment for the DPAO's Blake Shelton concert alone.
The parking proposal was suggested by City Manager Sharon A. Addison, who observed a major traffic jam of vehicles trying to get into the fairgrounds for the Aug. 14 Journey concert that she attended.
In other business, council members reiterated that they do not have an interest in giving the New York City-based Related Cos. a tax abatement to buy the Maple Courts Apartments on Weldon Drive for $3.1 million and then invest about $2 million to renovate the complex.