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A letter was sent out to organisers informing them that rents for the Armory will be doubled to $20,000 a day, effective immediately, with a further rise to $30,000 threatened for the autumn.

Organisers who use the distinctive building on Park Avenue between 66 and 67 Street, now have to decide whether to raise admission and stand rates or take the considerable increase in costs on the chin.

The fear is that some of the smaller organisers will be forced to abandon the Armory, which is now administered by a non-profit body, the Seventh Regiment Armory Conservancy.

While bigger organisers like the London-based Haughtons are monitoring the situation, others are despondent. Talks this week with Rebecca Robertson, chief executive of the Conservancy, will hopefully clarify the situation.

David Moss