Nitro Circus intends to fly high at minor league ballparks in 2021. (Courtesy Thrill One Sports & Entertainment)

Partnership with Indigo Road Entertainment will put event into ballparks

Nitro Circus is partnering with stadium concert producer Indigo Road Entertainment to bring Nitro’s action sports shows to minor league ballparks in 2021.

Nitro Circus, which features elite athletes in freestyle motocross, BMX, skateboarding and scooters and the show’s trademarked 55-foot Giganta Ramp, had been set to play 14 U.S. ballparks in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic put the kibosh on those plans, said Brian Bouquet, executive vice president of touring and consumer marketing for Nitro Circus’ parent company, San Clemente, Calif.-based Thrill One Sports & Entertainment.

The partnership will give Nitro, which is putting together a 26-venue tour beginning in late April or early May and lasting through mid- to late August, added booking efficiency given Indigo’s relationships with ballparks, Bouquet said.

Some of the dates include bookings nixed in 2020 because of the coronavirus outbreak and additional dates are likely, including at fairs and festivals, a market that Nitro has looked to expand into in years past, Bouquet said.

“Our paths crossed multiple times between the concerts they were putting on on a regular basis and some of the fairs and festivals we kept approaching,” Bouquet said of the partnership. “They have these ongoing year-round relationships with these baseball parks where they’re presenting multiple products a year, whereas we were one product a year for a baseball stadium. Maybe we were there once every three years.

“So when you go to route the tour, the availabilities and everything else are based on one night only. You don’t have the relationship model you would typically have with an event coming around every year or coming around multiple times every year.”

Indigo Road Entertainment President Denny Baxter echoed that sentiment in a statement.

With ten years of concert promotion experience in ballparks we are well positioned to add Nitro Circus to our entertainment offerings and provide fans a first-class experience in venues across the United States,” he said.

Indigo Road is based in Grand Rapids, Mich., and lists on its website rappers Snoop Dogg and Nelly and country artist Jake Owen as artists whose shows it promotes.

Nitro Circus was co-founded by action sports icon Travis Pastrana in 2003. It sold out about 80 percent of its dates last year, Bouquet said. He declined to identify any of the venues tentatively booked for 2021, citing COVID-related uncertainty.

Nitro Circus, which came under the aegis of Thrill One Entertainment around a year ago, was about halfway through a tour of Australia when the pandemic blew up live entertainment, Bouquet said. At that point, the company transitioned to using content libraries for broadcasts.

“We have one of the largest action sports content catalogs in the world and we’ve been able to transition from touring to being a content provider and have had huge success with ESPN and major networks across the world,” Bouquet said.

“But the bottom line is, we still love touring,” he said. “We like bringing live entertainment to people and we had to find a way to do that successfully next year.”

The tour will travel in about five production trucks as well as two sleeper buses and takes a day to load in or out. With an 8 a.m. arrival, the show is ready to go for practice by 3:30 p.m., and if the show ends at 9:30 p.m., it is out by about 2 a.m.

A performance typically runs about 2 ½ hours with a 20-minute intermission. A VIP package includes a preshow with miked-up athletes, who sometimes will perform stunts on demand. Ticket prices start around $30 and average between $50 and $55.

As for capacities, Bouquet said that 7,500 fans are anticipated but that the show can flex up to about 11,000 depending on the ballpark. Doubleheaders are required to satisfy demand in some markets.