Attorneys for the Jackson brothers and the promoter of the rock group's Victory Tour continued meeting today to discuss a threat by the band to pull out of six Dodger Stadium concerts.
The Los Angeles Times, quoting unnamed sources close to the tour, reported that an impasse developed when promoter Chuck Sullivan, who has been under a physician's care within the past week for heart problems, stopped payment on a $1.9 million check for two concerts earlier this month in Vancouver, B.C.
He said his company, Stadium Management Corp., had been unable to earn an adequate profit from the rock tour, and that he had suffered mental anguish as a partial result, the Times reported.
Norman Winter, spokesman for Michael Jackson, insisted that the Dec. 7-9 concerts would go on.
"There's no way Michael's going to disappoint his fans. This is the Jacksons' home town, they have a lot of friends coming. My information is that the shows will go on straight ahead."
The tour by superstar Michael Jackson and his five brothers began July 6 in Kansas City, and 2,759,000 tickets had been sold as of last week, according to tour spokesman Howard Bloom. With the sale of 300,000 tickets for the six Dodger Stadium concerts that were to be mailed out this week, Bloom said the final total would top 3 million. At $28 a seat, plus a $2 service charge per ticket, the gross receipts for concert admission alone will total more than $90 million.
Despite the enormous cash flow, sources report, Sullivan says he has operated at a loss due to the huge overhead costs of transporting the stage and the group's personnel from city to city -- as high as $1 million a week. Under his contract, Sullivan must pay the Jacksons 75 percent of the gross revenue and pay for the overhead out of the remaining 25 percent.
Reports today said that the two sides were about $500,000 apart in coming to an agreement on how much Sullivan will receive out of the final three concerts.
Sullivan, who is said to stand to lose several million dollars on his involvement with the Jacksons, reportedly did not want to pay the Jacksons anything for those final three dates.
The Jacksons reportedly told Sullivan they would accept a $2 million guarantee to show up for the final three dates. Sullivan's attorney, Milt Rudin, came back with an offer of $1 million, and the Jacksons were reportedly willing to go down to $1.5 million.
Figuring a total for those three shows of 150,000 tickets, the gross would be about $4.5 million. Normally, the Jacksons would be getting about $3.2 million. Apparently unresolved is the issue of the $1.9 million from the Vancouver shows that was held up by Sullivan's stop-payment. That may be part of the final settlement package.
Meanwhile, many fans were complaining that they still had not received their tickets Wednesday, just two days before the first concert.
Hundreds of fans have registered complaints with the Times, Dodger Stadium and various local radio stations that have been giving away tickets.