LOWELL — In one of his last official acts as city manager, Kevin Murphy has selected a local firm with strong ties to the New England entertainment industry to take over management of the Lowell Memorial Auditorium, effective July 1. Bids to manage the once-booming facility were received from: Spectra Venue Management, the Philadelphia-based company that took over management of the auditorium in 2013 and also manages the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell.

Spectacle Management, a local firm founded in 2013 by Peter Lally. Lally was a top manager at the facility before 2013 when it was managed by Mill City Management, the firm whose three principals, the late Thomas McKay, Leo Creegan and Terry McCarthy, were affectionately known as the “Three Amigos.”

In awarding the contract to Lally’s firm, known as the Lowell Management Group, Murphy hopes to recapture some of the energy from the Mill City years. In a note late Thursday afternoon to Mayor William Samaras and city councilors, Murphy said of Spectacle, “their performance record, the extent of the general manager’s experience in similar facilities, and their plan for capital improvements were all highly advantageous.”

Before Murphy, whose retirement is effective April 1, made his final decision, a bid-review committee made up of several high-ranking city officials “ultimately made the determination that (Spectacle) was the best candidate for award.” “The city manager’s office will now begin the process to negotiate a management contract with the vendor,” Murphy added.

Despite not taking over until July 1, Lally, whose firm books shows throughout the region, said his team is already exploring booking opportunities for summer, fall and 2019. “My partners and I are very excited by the opportunity to manage Lowell Memorial Auditorium,” Lally said in a statement. Read more from lowellsun.com…

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