In Thursday’s (3/10) Miami Herald, David Smiley writes, “The hottest ticket in town? About $15 million for 18 prime seats in the critically acclaimed headquarters of the New World Symphony. That’s an allegation the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office is looking into as symphony leaders and Miami Beach’s top boss feud over the release of a $15 million city grant. The symphony says the city is holding the funds hostage in exchange for 18 free tickets per performance to be doled out to city officials, plus other last-minute demands. … ‘If we were to give up 18 seats to every concert that’s over 1,000 seats and that doesn’t even include the fact that they are asking for seats to concerts that are not our productions,’ symphony President Howard Herring said Thursday. … City Manager Jorge Gonzalez … stressed the tickets were only one aspect of a larger public benefits … which included discounts to residents, school outreach, and the free concerts in the park, known as Wallcasts. Herring said the symphony met all those obligations and should have received $12 million from the grant on Jan. 2, and the remaining $3 million by now. The symphony needs the $15 million to pay off a line of credit that is costing the symphony $1,000 a day, Herring said.”

Posted March 11, 2011