Savannah awards controversial contract to manage new arena

April 27, 2019 - 10:28 am

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Officials in Georgia's oldest city have awarded a contract to manage a new arena despite claims from the second-place bidder that it was treated unfairly.

New outlets report the Savannah City Council voted 5-3 to pay the venue management company Oak View Group $87,500 to help with designing the new arena slated to open in 2021. The company will pay $200,000 in annual rent and share event revenues with the city.

City Hall staff recommended the company's proposal first out of three applicants. Second-place firm SMG challenged the decision. Attorney Harold Buckley Jr. told council members Thursday the winning bidder failed to provide required documents and had met with the council illegally behind closed doors.

Mayor Eddie DeLoach and City Manager Rob Hernandez insisted the bid was awarded legally.

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