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NEW YORK — It will be “Live from Lincoln Center” after all.
More than two years after the site emerged as a possible venue for fashion week, industry sources confirmed on Monday that the tents will relocate from Bryant Park to the Upper West Side, beginning in September 2010.
The city of New York is said to have finalized the deal with Lincoln Center, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to make the announcement today at a press conference, held by IMG and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. All the organizations declined comment Monday.
The shows were first held in Bryant Park in November 1993. In the fall of 1997, after four years at Bryant Park, 7th on Sixth was relocated for a season to the Chelsea Piers, on the Hudson River at the end of West 23rd Street, but returned to Bryant Park shortly thereafter. While it is considered the most centralized venue for the industry, the Bryant Park Corp. has long been disgruntled with the shows, particularly since they moved to September and February. The timing put restrictions on both Labor Day visitors and the ice-skating rink, and as a result, was said to have been considered somewhat unpopular by the general public.
Lincoln Center has long been mentioned as a potential site. Past proposals had the footprint there at roughly 35 percent smaller than Bryant Park with a tent by the central fountain and another closer to 62nd Street, reachable only by an extensive footpath. While details were not disclosed Monday, sources said the new agreement allows for a better footprint.
In the past, producing the shows in Bryant Park cost IMG about $12 million a year, and the park took in more than $1.5 million from the shows each year.
The news first emerged late Monday on The New York Times’ Web site. The new multiyear deal is likely to serve the fashion industry until a permanent solution can be secured. Many industry executives continue to expect this to be located in the redeveloped Hudson Yards once that project is finalized.