Tag: April 2019

Changing the Game

Taking in a show at The Show, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. (Courtesy Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage) As more tribal casinos become destinations for high-level stars and shows are more often expected to generate profits as well as draw gaming customers, VenuesNow spoke with three casinos from different regions about the climate for attracting acts and fans to their live entertainment venues.  We also talked to Tom Cantone, who it’s been said revolutionized the casino business in 1985 when he booked Eddie Murphy at the Sands in Atlantic City, starting the trend of bigger stars performing in casino venues. Cantone, Mohegan Sun vice president of sports and marketing, discusses his 35-year career and how he helped shape what we know today as a casino act.   The Show goes on: Agua Caliente maintains strategy of featuring big stars Cantone means can do: Mohegan Sun exec still helping redefine […]

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Live! Roundup: Welcome to the Hotel Oceania

The Eagles perform at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., last September. (Getty Images) Eagles hit New Zealand and Australia The Eagles headed to Australia and New Zealand for a five-city stint in February and March to kick off the band’s 2019 road schedule.  The five members of the iconic band played their first gig in New Zealand. Auckland’s Spark Arena hosted the first stop on the trek, a two-night run Feb. 26-27 that produced a gross of $3.2 million. Both shows sold out, moving a total of 19,645 tickets. For the second engagement, the group traveled to Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island and played the lone stadium during the 17-day Oceania trek. The performance, at Forsyth Barr Stadium, drew 31,519 fans and earned a $6.6 million gross. Both dates score a slot on this month’s Hot Tickets. The Dunedin show lands at No. 2 in the category for venues […]

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Talking Points: Kate Lieberman

Vice president of guest service for U.S. concerts/venues, Live Nation (Courtesy Live Nation) Her motorcycle diaries are short, but the wait for a Dodgers championship seems long. Hometown Los Angeles. I thought I’d grow up to be  A rock journalist. First job in the industry Live Nation, 2006. I was the assistant to the VP of national marketing. Free-time pursuits Travel, cook, Pilates, go to Dodger games and get angry that they can’t seem to win a World Series.  Book Just finished Jeff Tweedy’s memoir, “Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back).” Surprising fact A few years back I decided it was finally time to live my dream of riding a motorcycle. I quickly realized that, sadly, this was a dream better situated in fantasy than reality. Favorite live event attended  Top five: Kendrick Lamar (Sasquatch festival,  2015), Jason Isbell (The Wiltern, 2016), Pearl Jam (Wrigley Field, 2016), Tom Petty […]

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2019 Q1: Coming In Hot

Travis Scott, a top seller in the first quarter, at Madison Square Garden on March 2. (Getty Images) Holiday classics, new ideas power inaugural Q1 charts No matter what kind of year you’re having at the box office, you can count on the holidays to help goose the numbers, thanks to some perennial seat fillers and A-list acts that make for perfect stocking stuffers. That’s the takeaway from conversations with VenuesNow’s Top Stops leaders as  the first quarter of 2019 drew to a close.   The Q1 report is a first for VenuesNow, as is a separate set of charts listing only the top North American venues. All nine pages of charts follow this story.  For the reporting period, which ran from Nov. 22 through Feb. 20, perennials such as Trans-Siberian Orchestra and the Disney On Ice shows kept things chugging along, while Latin headliners continued to prove their strength […]

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New Blueprint for Old Arenas?

Hy-Vee Arena, home to NBA and NHL teams when it was Kemper Arena, now provides playing space for residents plus regional and national youth tournaments. (Courtesy Hy-Vee Arena) Renovated Hy-Vee Arena provides Kansas City with a new place to play KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For Alfonso Hayes and those who play in his Ball Up Sporting adult basketball program, the recently renovated Hy-Vee Arena provides more than just a warm, dry location to play the game they love. “It’s a central place,” he said on a recent early spring day as he watched a pickup game drift up and down one of the building’s numerous open courts. “It’s become more like a community.” That is precisely what developer Steve Foutch had in mind five years ago when he first considered buying and renovating long-neglected Kemper Arena, for 33 years Kansas City’s primary arena, in the West Bottoms neighborhood southwest of […]

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Esports: Nonstop Action

Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany, has become an annual site for an ESL “Counter-Strike” tournament. (Helena Kristiansson) As in U.S., competitive gaming boom drives innovative design overseas The esports industry is exploding. Revenue is expected to exceed the billion-dollar mark for the first time in 2019, according to gaming market research company Newzoo. With that kind of money up for grabs, purpose-built arenas are being constructed at a breakneck pace and multipurpose venues are keeping up with the demands of hosting esports events by adding in technology and adapting to the needs of a new kind of venuegoer. Esports is hot in the U.S., where new esports venues opened in cities such as Las Vegas, Arlington, Texas, and Oakland and Burbank, Calif., last year and another was just announced for Philadelphia, but it’s a trend that’s producing new venues all over the world. “Esports are a global phenomenon,” said Brian Mirakian, director […]

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Solid Midwest

Kiss plays its End of the Road tour at TaxSlayer Center. (Courtesy TaxSlayer Center) Big acts and a big new venue mark a busy year in the heartland The midwest region’s venues enjoyed strong returns in 2018, buoyed by a solid economy and big-name touring shows. The first full year of Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena heralded a major new facility in the region and attracted some of the country’s top touring acts, while bolstering the revival effort for one of the Midwest’s bellwether metropolitan areas. Weather occasionally interfered with plans during 2018, but affected arenas adjusted to accommodate both artists and fans. Venue staff also worked around continuing  improvements and renovations, keeping the shows on schedule in venerable facilities such as Wrigley Field even as physical changes required savvy planning.   READ ON: The Circuit: Some of the Midwest’s top-performing venues share highlights from their year Hy-Vee Arena: New blueprint for […]

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Midwest: The Circuit

Some of the Midwest’s top-performing venues share highlights from their year TaxSlayer Center, Moline, Ill. Scott Mullen, executive director  How was your year? 2018 was a solid year for us. The economy is doing well and people are buying tickets. Big shows We had some big names in 2018 with full houses for Blake Shelton, Styx, REO (Speedwagon) and Don Felder, and 5 Finger Death Punch. Alice Cooper, Jim Gaffigan, the Beach Boys, Alabama, Lindsey Stirling and Cole Swindell also had strong showings as did World’s Toughest Rodeo, the Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament, the (Harlem) Globetrotters, Monster Jam, Theresa Caputo and Impractical Jokers. Big changes We installed a new Wi-Fi system throughout the complex as well as a new security camera system and a new point-of-sale system for F&B. What went right? We were able to land a Paul McCartney show that will play here in June. With […]

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Letter From Maureen: A 40th to Remember

We came, we networked, we solved the conundrums of the live entertainment ticketing industry. We have long known that the power of INTIX lies in the stories, knowledge and experiences that we share as we gather together for the better part of a week annually. This was truly the experience at #intix2019, Texas, which is now one for the record books with great attendance and engagement. We are incredibly grateful to ALL that participated in this fantastic event. By the numbers: 1,105 attendees from 15 countries; 75 vendor exhibitors; 38 Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Media Sponsors; 54 (1 repeat) knowledge-based education, best practice, thought leadership and case study workshops; 110 speakers; 9 Inspiration Stage bite-size presentations; 2 dynamic, kick us in the butt, make us stand up and dance, shout yes, snap, women-led keynotes by Cynthia Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks and DeDe Murcer Moffett, president of Success […]

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Cantone Means Can Do

Tom Cantone received the inaugural Executive of the Year Award from the G2E Global Gaming Conference in 2013. (Courtesy Mohegan Sun) Mohegan Sun exec still helping redefine casino entertainment business When Tom Cantone was recruited to Atlantic City’s Sands Casino Resort in the 1980s, casino entertainment consisted of faded stars and topless girls. Cantone wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to do better.  “I wanted to open the doors to pop culture and get the hottest, latest and greatest to play at the Sands,” Cantone recalled. “Every agent back then shied away from booking their contemporary acts to play a casino. I felt like an army of one out to convince all the agents and managers that there was money to make playing a casino venue who has the same demographic profile as the people who buy their clients’ records, go to their clients’ movies and see their clients’ shows.” Convincing hesitant […]

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Hamilton’s History Lessons

The national touring company of “Hamilton” has created a love affair with fans of the show that can leave performing arts centers’ ticketing operations taxed when the on-sale date arrives. (Joan Marcus) As blockbuster show continues to tour, ticketing pros can learn from the successes and missteps of theaters that have already hosted it “Hamilton” has clearly transcended Broadway, and ticketing officials across the country confirm that it has officially exceeded blockbuster status. It is literally the toughest ticket to get in every market in which it’s played. “It’s in a class by itself. I’ve never seen a phenomenon like ‘Hamilton,’ and I’ve been in the business for 30 years,” said Kay Burnham, vice president for guest services at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, Calif. “It’s touched our society in ways that other shows haven’t; it was a very different experience to try and manage.” But […]

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