The Agora Theatre and Ballroom, a historic downtown Cleveland venue, will be operated by AEG Presents, LLC, the live entertainment giant announced today. The 2,000-capacity theater (and 600-capacity ballroom) first opened in 1966 and will undergo an extensive renovation as well as upgrades to its sound and lighting systems, hospitality areas, backstage quarters and customer amenities.

The Agora helped give rise to scores of artists in the 1970s and 1980s, including  Bruce Springsteen, U2, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, The Clash, and Duran Duran.

“Given its history and the litany of legendary acts that have played the room, the Agora has been the heart and soul of Cleveland’s live music scene for the past 50 years,” said Shawn Trell, Chief Operating Officer of AEG Presents. “It’s a truly unique concert venue and we look forward to bringing a wide array of artists to the live music loving city of Cleveland.”

Added Chris Zitterbart, operator of the Agora Theatre for the past 4 years: “The opportunity to work with AEG Presents and to have them enter the Cleveland music scene is significant. They represent the best of having not only the resources necessary to grow the business, but because they also remain independently and privately owned they can afford to be patient and do things the right way.  That combination bodes well for the future of the Agora Theatre and the types of shows they will bring to this market,”

The acquisition adds to AEG’s portfolio of over 60 theaters and clubs is in line with AEG Presents’ strategy to gain a footprint in key music markets across the country.

Parent company AEG produces, promotes or books nearly 10,000 events worldwide.