Neal Schon Suing City of San Francisco Over Wedding Charges
Neal Schon is learning just how expensive weddings can be. He is repotedly suing the city of San Francisco, claiming that they overcharged him for the use of the city’s Palace of Fine Arts in his December 2013 wedding to reality TV star Michaele Salahi.
According to Vintage Vinyl News, the Journey guitarist and the city had originally agreed on a price of $58,000 to rent the facility. However, when it was revealed that the wedding was to become a televised pay-per-view event, the fee was raised to $240,000, an increase of more than 400 percent.
"City administrators are not supposed to make up what fees to charge people based on who they are, or because they agree to share their wedding, or anything else, on television,” Rebecca Coll said in a statement. “The Schons had a right to share their celebration with the world in real time without being penalized."
Schon is looking to recover $182,000 — the difference between the two prices — as well as unspecified damages that occurred when the city prevented the couple from using a neighboring building as part of the wedding.
A spokesman for the city does not deny that the decision to televise the ceremony was responsible for the change. Indeed, the Rental Info page on the venue's website currently offers different rates for non-profit and for-profit events.
“The only thing unusual about the Schons’ wedding was that it evolved from small and secret to a live commercial broadcast, and the city’s fees evolved accordingly,” Matt Dorsey of the city’s Attorney’s Office said. “There are no hard feelings on our part, and nothing about their lawsuit will diminish San Francisco’s affection for Journey."
A portion of the proceeds from the broadcast were earmarked for victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines, the home country of Journey singer Arnel Pineda, a month before the wedding.
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