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ProMedica slashing summer concert series lineup in half, asking city for more money

ProMedica is asking the city of Toledo to match Lucas County's $100,000 contribution to the 2023 series, which has been trimmed from eight acts to four.

TOLEDO, Ohio — ProMedica's financial struggles have caused them to trim the lineup for its 2023 live summer concert series, and they are asking the city and the county for more money than ever before to fund it.

Toledo City Council will vote on March 21 on whether it will donate $100,000 to the series after discussing it with ProMedica officials at Tuesday's agenda review. This will match the contribution Lucas County has authorized to donate.

During Tuesday's meeting, ProMedica's Chief Philanthropy Officer Gary Cates asked the city of Toledo for the money during their most recent meeting where he said the request was "unfortunate."

It's one-third of the ballpark $300,000 fundraising goal ProMedica is hoping to raise for the 2023 series, which has slashed the setlist from eight to four acts. This is triple what ProMedica asked the city for in 2022 and $25,000 greater than what Lucas County donated last year.

Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken said the series is still worth taxpayer money despite the reduced shows.

"You can see it in the restaurants, the hotels get filled, and people who come from other places go back to where they come from with a real appreciation, even the artists," Gerken said.

Gerken said while ProMedica was not able to contribute as much to the 2023 series as it did for the 2022 series, the county is stepping up to maintain it as a downtown Toledo tradition regardless of the healthcare giant's name being attached to it.

"Back in the '80s and '90s we had a group called cityfest," Gerken said. "Their job was to program the summer series, program the events downtown. Maybe we go back to that."

Gerken said those discussions have already taken place and plans are forming to make the concert sustainable for years to come.

ProMedica representatives told council Tuesday the healthcare company will donate $150,000 to the concert as well and are estimating about $5 million in economic impacts to this city. Some of ProMedica's contribution will go directly toward the concert, while the rest of it will go toward other items like staffing and vendors.

ProMedica said it will not comment further until the series' formal announcement in April, and the city of Toledo said it is still in the planning stages too.

ProMedica's rocky financial state most recently saw Atlanta-based Gentiva purchase its hospice and home healthcare business for $710 million.

In December, ProMedica divested from 147 skilled nursing homes and laid off more than 250 employees

ProMedica also reported significant losses in 2022, fired multiple top executives and saw downgrades to its debt and credit ratings by major bond rating agencies.

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