PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- In a lawsuit filed on Thursday, the Philly Pops alleges that the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Kimmel Center (POKC) willfully engaged in unlawful, anticompetitive and predatory conduct designed to force the Pops out of business.
The lawsuit comes after the nation's largest stand-alone Pops orchestra announced in November it will cease operations.
Months after the announcement, the Pops were also evicted from the Kimmel Center after an apparent dispute over unpaid debt. And the issues mounted when musicians sued its own management seeking back wages.
SEE ALSO: Philly Pops evicted from Kimmel Center after missing $520,000 payment
In the lawsuit, the Pops say it tried to resolve its financial issues but claims POKC deliberately acted to prevent POPS performances at the Kimmel Center. The orchestra also claims they were evicted on three days' notice in mid-January.
"It is clear that POKC's goal all along has been to drive Philly POPS out of business," William DeStefano, attorney for the POPS said. "They want to eliminate the POPS as a competitor, so that they can develop their own pops programming and monopolize the market for this music in Philadelphia."
The Kimmel Center tells Action News it is still reviewing the lawsuit, saying in a statement, "We have just received the lawsuit, which was brought to our attention by the media. As the Complaint has yet to be formally served, we will reserve comment until then and once it has been reviewed with counsel."
The musicians for the orchestra also filed a suit against the Pops recently for back wages.
The musicians' union, American Federation of Musicians, Local 77, released this statement on Thursday's lawsuit against POKC:
"Ever since the merger between the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Kimmel Center, the American Federation of Musicians, Local 77, has been concerned about the potential for a monopoly and its impact on our city and the musicians who work here. We will all be following the lawsuit with interest. The loyal patrons and subscribers, along with the dedicated Philly Pops Musicians, remain in limbo without a clear path forward to be made whole. The Philly Pops Musicians look forward to the day that they can do what they do best-to present world class pops music to their beloved audience members, our community, and the city of Philadelphia."
Meanwhile, longtime fans of the Pops are frustrated over an apparent lack of response and refunds.
"We've been a subscriber to the POPS I would say close to 25 years," said Nancy Katz earlier this month in an interview with Action News.
Katz and her husband went to a show in September. The rest are up in the air.
"Very unrealistic that this is ever going to take place," she told the Action News Troubleshooters. "And if not, I would like my money back. We pay, with the service fee, $425 this year for these shows."
The future of the shows this season remains unclear, however, the Pops say it is committed to completing its concert season and honoring its obligations to its ticketholders.
Click here to read the full lawsuit