MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The promoters of Club Nomadic have filed a federal lawsuit against Mystic Lake Casino, accusing the casino of abruptly canceling the highly-promoted, pop-up concert venue just weeks before the Super Bowl, then booking alternative shows inside the casino that only Mystic Lake will profit from.
According to the lawsuit, Club Nomadic Entertainment Group was required by its contract with Mystic Lake to build, at its own expense, a 65,000 square-foot, multi-level temporary concert venue at a cost of $2.4 million. The venue would have a capacity of 9,000, “intended to accommodate world-class entertainment and hospitality.” The contract stated Club Nomadic would recoup its costs and earn a profit from its share of ticket sales, sponsorships and food and beverage sales during the Super Bowl weekend events.
On Jan.12, Dakota February Events, LLC, owned by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, announced the high profile performances for Super Bowl weekend, Feb. 1-4, had been called off. The Chainsmokers, Kygo, Florida Georgia Line and Gwen Stefani will still perform, but will move to venues inside Mystic Lake Casino Hotel.
Club Nomadic says the press release announcing the cancellation “falsely accused Nomadic (i) of failing to obtain a certificate of occupancy and (ii) and building a structure that was below Dakota’s ‘standards.’”
In the lawsuit, Club Nomadic alleges the cancellation “was done so that Dakota could avoid its obligations under the Agreement and exclusively profit from a replacement event inside its Casino” that Nomadic helped promote and advertise. Nomadic also points to a page on Mystic Lake’s website (www.mysticlake.com/clubnomadic) which is still active and promoting the alternative concerts.
According to the lawsuit, the agreement between Nomadic and Dakota Events was terminated on Jan. 10 on the basis that Dakota’s building inspector had not issued a certificate of occupancy for the facility by Jan. 1. But Nomadic says “Dakota’s delays had made it impossible to obtain a certificate of occupancy by Jan. 1.”
Nomadic alleges Dakota intentionally interfered with the approval of plans and the electrical connection between Mystic Lake and the pop-up venue. They specifically point to an instance of Dakota waiting more than 40 days to respond to a request to approve drawings. They also allege Dakota’s building inspector took vacations during critical periods of the project.
According to the lawsuit, Club Nomadic must spend $1 million tearing down the temporary venue in the casino’s parking lot. They were also required to post $5 million collateral on a performance bond.
Club Nomadic Entertainment Group is also promoting Super Bowl weekend concerts at the renovated Armory in downtown Minneapolis, near U.S. Bank Stadium. That concert series, called Nomadic Live, includes performances by Jennifer Lopez, Pink, Imagine Dragons and Kelly Clarkson.