Washington Avenue Armory allowed to host concerts once again - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Washington Avenue Armory allowed to host concerts once again

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ALBANY, N.Y. -- The Washington Avenue Armory has won an important court ruling on Thursday when a New York State Supreme Court justice ruled in its favor against the City of Albany, allowing the Armory to resume hosting concerts and events inside the historic arena.

"Thursday's decision by Justice Lynch isn't just a win for the Armory, but it's a huge victory for the arts and entertainment community here in Albany. We look forward to working with the City to identify any future concerns and to engage in a working relationship that benefits both the Armory and the City," said Michael Corts, general manager of the Armory.

In October 2012, Albany police arrested seven people in front of the Washington Avenue Armory after a large crowd became disorderly and began to fight with police.

A large influx of people overwhelmed the Armory's capacity at its entrance, and according to police, resulted in an extremely unsafe condition in which people waiting in line began to be crushed against barricades.

Several individuals needed to be pulled to safety by responding police and Armory staff.

As officers began to disperse the crowd of nearly 2,000, several attendees became combative. During the incident, three officers were injured. Two of the officers were treated on scene and one was transported to Albany Medical Center Hospital after having a bleach-like liquid thrown in his eyes.

Events at the Armory were put on hold shortly after the melee, but another event was eventually held almost a month after the incident. The Armory lost its permission to host dance parties for the second time in early March.

Attorneys for the Armory successfully petitioned for a stay of further proceedings, which stops the City from enforcing the Board of Zoning Appeals' decision that had kept the Armory from hosting concerts.

The suit originated from a March 13 decision by the City of Albany's Board of Zoning Appeals, which definition of "auditoria" was broadly interpreted as fixed-seating instead of general-assembly.

Justice Lynch, in his decision, said that "it is difficult to discern the security difference arising from a concert where patrons are assigned fixed seating, compared to a general assembly concert."

The Armory and the City had previously agreed to a memorandum of understanding that outlined the Armory's new security procedures, in which several proactive steps had been taken by the venue.

The ruling allows for the Armory to host concerts, including tonight's Stuff Your Face With Bass: White Massive.

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