Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center.

In Thursday’s (6/22) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin reports, “With an outstanding $1 million debt and a ‘long history of contractual default and related broken promises and commitments,’ the Philly Pops is trying to ‘force its way back into Verizon Hall,’ the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center Inc. alleged in a court filing Tuesday. The filing, a response, and series of counterclaims to the antitrust lawsuit the Philly Pops filed against POKC in April, alleges that the Pops is using a ‘false media narrative’ to distract from problems of its own making…. A Pops spokesperson Wednesday responded by repeating the group’s claim that the Philadelphia Orchestra, through parent company POKC, is seeking to eliminate the Pops as competition…. The Pops’ April lawsuit, filed with the U.S. District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania, alleged that the orchestra, since merging with the Kimmel Center in 2021, has engaged in ‘unlawful, anticompetitive and predatory conduct’ to ‘eliminate the Philly Pops as a competitor.’… On Tuesday, POKC asked the court to deny the Pops’ request for the preliminary injunction. That filing cites the Pops’ unpaid debt in excess of $1 million and a series of past ‘accommodations and deferred payment plans that [the Pops] then failed to honor.’ ”