City council is being courted by several private sector organizations to take over the operation of Hamilton's three entertainment venues.
And the major international suitors are opening the door to local partners to sweeten their bids to either run all or parts of HECFI.
Until Monday there were five bidders, but then the world’s largest venue management company and its partner withdrew their bid to run Copps Coliseum.
Los Angeles-based AEG and Edmonton-based Katz (Kates) Group notified the city that they are no longer taking part in talks.
The withdrawal leaves four other proposals on the table.
Taxpayer subsidies to HECFI are pegged at $6.5 million for 2012, but most years they average $7.5 million to $8 million.