Live Nation is one of the largest concert promoters in the country. The multibillion-dollar company has an operating interest in dozens of venues across the country, from San Francisco’s The Fillmore to every House of Blues venue in America.
Add Sacramento’s Ace of Spades to that list.
Ace owners Bret Bair and Eric Rushing have sold their business to Live Nation for an undisclosed amount. Bair told SN&R that they had multiple offers from various national concert promoters. “We felt that Ace of Spades would fit nicely with their other properties,” he said. “This is a great time for Sacramento, as far as the interest that national companies have in the market.” Bair and Rushing will join Live Nation as employees. Their other venues, including Goldfield and Boardwalk, are not part of the deal.
The building that houses Ace of Spades, at 1417 R Street, is still owned by Randy Paragary.
Bair also said that Live Nation has “strong interest” in a bigger venue, something with 2,500 to 4,000 capacity. “There’s definitely a couple locations that have been pegged” in the central city, he said, adding that Live Nation is “being aggressive.”
He promised Ace of Spades loyal customers that much won’t change. “Hopefully it means more programming” or a better variety of programming.
Live Nation will also book acts at the new Kings arena, including the already scheduled Maroon 5 gig.
Bair says that he and Rushing began discussing the sale of Ace of Spades last year. “Eric and I put our life savings into Ace of Spades,” he said. But, after a shooting incident outside the venue last February, the duo realized that it might be smarter to sell now.
He wouldn’t discuss financial details. “It was a decent chunk of change. It wasn’t cheap. We didn’t give it away. It was a really great deal for us.”