Tag: February 2020

Live! Roundup — New Year’s Shows: Last Hurrahs for Record-Breaking ’19

In a year that included landmark successes like Ed Sheeran’s “Divide” trek, crowned as the all-time highest-grossing tour, along with a few crash-and-burns — here’s looking at you, Woodstock — 2019’s live scene powered its way to a last hurrah with some top concert draws to ring in the new year. With year-end box office numbers reported during the past month, New Year’s Eve events, most of them multiple-show runs, make an impact on the Hot Tickets charts. Standouts in the largest venue category (More Than 15,000 Capacity) include the top grosser, Phish, with its annual New Year’s Eve run at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. With $6.7 million in sales from four performances, the jam band surpassed its personal best in box office earnings for an end-of-year engagement, the ninth staged at the Manhattan arena during the past decade. Dead & Company scores two of the top 10 […]

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The Kidz Bop Kids Are Alright

KIDZ ON THE RUN: The Kidz Bop 2020 Live Tour will travel to 80 cities in 2020. (Courtesy Kidz Bop) The stage show, launched from the hit compilation albums, takes cleaned-up pop to the younger set When the Kidz Bop franchise launched with a compilation album in 2001, kids sang cleaned-up versions of Britney Spears’ “Oops! … I Did It Again,” Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca,” and Cher’s “Believe.” Almost two decades later a different group of youngsters is performing current hits “Sucker” by the Jonas Brothers, “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo, “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X and “Adore You” by Harry Styles on the brand’s seventh tour. The songs may change, but Kidz Bop stays true to the concept: “It’s today’s biggest hits sung by kids,” said Vic Zaraya, president of Kidz Bop. “There was no music for school-age children in the market except for Barney back […]

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Stadium Design + Construction: Futurama

GLASS ACT: The suite structure at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium, built in 2015, adds new layers of hospitality to a vintage building. (Courtesy Heery) Changing preferences and an expanding role for stadiums create new opportunities for designers For most of their existence, there’s been a distinction between stadiums and arenas and the roles they play in sports and entertainment. Increasingly, however, venue architects see stadiums as fulfilling a more expansive role in the community as a host for a perpetual parade of events that range from the epic to the intimate. “Stadiums — some of them, not all of them — are starting to become just like big arenas,” said Mike Holleman, senior vice president at Heery. “So where arenas can book 150 (to) 200 events a year, some of the new stadiums, especially the enclosed ones, are starting to pick up those big acts more. With them […]

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Data Craze Finds Its Way to Venue Operations

Greg Sweeney, director of technical design for Rossetti, said data such as documents, equipment warranties, shop drawings, plans and emails that are developed in sports construction represents “a tremendous asset” that’s often wasted after the venue opens.  “The industry is currently in a transition period with the move to actively use this data for the entire life of the building,” Sweeney said. “Stadiums have become complex to the point where they are like a city of items that must be maintained and monitored. Stadiums must have a more well-thought-out plan for the operations and maintenance of their buildings.” Rossetti is currently working with the USTA at the National Tennis Center to digitize the facility management process for the dozen buildings on the campus, identifying the maintainable and trackable assets and creating connections between 3-D building models, PDFs and facilities management software to generate orders and tracking. “Eventually the model will […]

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Booking Deal Fills Rupp With More Than Hoops

LEXINGTON, KY. — Carl Hall has one less hat to wear after handing off Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center booking duties to OVG Facilities on Jan. 1, 2018. The move has paid off handsomely, said Hall, longtime director of arena management at the 43-year-old venue.  Over the past two years, Brian Sipe, OVG’s director of booking at Rupp Arena, has helped double revenue from non-Kentucky basketball events. The numbers have grown substantially, according to data reported to Pollstar, sister publication of VenuesNow. (Oak View Group owns both magazines.) In 2017, the average ticket gross was $247,000 with an average of 6,500 tickets sold for four events reported by Rupp Arena officials. One year later, the average gross was $420,000 with an average of 6,600 tickets across 35 shows reported, including multiple-day family shows. Last year, the average ticket gross was $742,000 with an average of 8,300 tickets sold for […]

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Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center: Building on Tradition

WILDCAT WATCHERS: Fans watch the tipoff of the Kentucky-Alabama game at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center on Jan. 11. (Don Muret / Staff) Project at Lexington complex brings new comforts to Kentucky basketball fans LEXINGTON, KY. — The University of Kentucky holds a storied tradition in college basketball and a few of its fervent fans were celebrating early on a recent Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Lexington, which is attached to Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. Mimosas flowed at the hotel bar and portable carts offered beer and hard liquor in the Hyatt lobby before the noon tipoff between Kentucky and Alabama. The Southeastern Conference school prohibits the sale of alcohol at sports events, including city-owned Rupp Arena, but the arena sits steps away indoors and the lobby serves as a de facto extension of Rupp’s main concourse.  Midway through 2022, the layout will change dramatically as part […]

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In Louisville, a New Hall and a New Name

STREAMER CONSCIOUSNESS: Twenty-one-year-old rapper Jack Harlow plays Old Forester’s Paristown Hall in Louisville. (Stephen Cohen Photography)  After Old Forester’s Paristown Hall opened its doors in Louisville on July 23, The Kentucky Center was rebranded as Kentucky Performing Arts. The organization also operates three performance spaces — the 2,406-seat Whitney Hall, the 619-seat Moritz von Bomhard Theatre and the 139-seat Boyd Martin Theatre — in addition to the 1,400-seat Brown Theatre.  “The name of the enterprise was The Kentucky Center when the performing arts center opened in 1983, but with the addition of our other venues, it didn’t make sense, so we changed the name to Kentucky Performing Arts,” said Christian Adelberg, Kentucky Performing Arts’ vice president of marketing and communications. “Each of the venues have their own visual logo that’s a variation of the primary logo, and we’re changing all building signage.” Kentucky Performing Arts also is advertising locally via […]

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Kentucky and Tennessee: Sizzling in the South

BIG BAND MUSIC: Chicago’s Mucca Pazza instrumental music and performance ensemble performs at Old Forester’s Paristown Hall. (Chronicle Cinema) States’ venues fill seats for diverse entertainment THE CIRCUIT A quick two-state tour of some of the region’s top-performing venues FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tenn. Jeff Olson, booking director How did you do last year? FedEx Forum had a great year in 2019! We had one of our best years for concerts with many headlining acts.    Big shows Justin Timberlake, Jan. 12; Panic! at the Disco, Feb. 6; Kiss, Feb. 23; Twenty One Pilots, June 26; Chris Stapleton, Oct. 5; Bob Seger , Oct. 12; Elton John, Oct. 30; and Ariana Grande, Dec. 7. Changes FedEx Forum is completing a new roof project to the venue. We also have renovated several of our restaurants and club areas.    What went right The University of Memphis men’s basketball team had a great […]

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Better Technology Pushes Holograms Into Spotlight

ENCORE: The Buddy Holly hologram plays on stage with a live band. (Courtesy Base Hologram) ‘Scary real’ re-creations, new artists point to more dates for tours Back in the 1980s, someone asked Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment President Tom Cantone what he thought the future of entertainment would be. “I answered hologram concerts,” Cantone said. “I knew nothing about it, and I was only referencing what I saw on  ‘Star Trek,’ but I envisioned that instead of touring, artists will play one night and be beamed around the world. And artists who are long gone could play for fans again.” Fast forward to November, when Mohegan Sun casino resort in Connecticut welcomed Roy Orbison to the stage despite the fact that the “Pretty Woman” singer had been dead for more than 30 years.  “It was scary real,” said Cantone, who had sat in the audience with 5,000 invitation-only guests to watch the […]

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Pier Won: Spectra Retooling Chicago Attraction’s Marketing

LAKESIDE VIBE: Navy Pier’s Aon Grand Ballroom features an 80-foot dome ceiling. (Courtesy Spectra) Venue manager will work to drive new events to Navy Pier Spectra plans to bring a renewed sales and marketing diligence to drive new events to Chicago’s Navy Pier facilities as the company kicks off a 10-year agreement Feb. 3 to manage the 170,000-square-foot space. “We want to take a brand-new approach to how we sell and market the pier,” said Pete Zingoni, vice president of business development for Philadelphia-based Spectra, an approach that includes tying into larger events as a destination space and making connections between the pier’s attractions, which include the Chicago Children’s Museum, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and an IMAX theater as well as outdoor attractions and exhibition space.  Spectra will lead the venue management, partnering with Chicago-based Levy to handle the concessions. The transition from ASM Global running Navy Pier with local concessionaire […]

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Greenfield Wants to Grow Subscription Ticketing

Chris Giles, Greenfield Sports Group founder. (Courtesy Greenfield Sports Group) Former A’s COO Giles sees the chance to tailor programs to teams’ needs Fresh from announcing the launch of his new company, Greenfield Sports Group, former Oakland A’s Chief Operating Officer Chris Giles spoke with VenuesNow about the popular subscription-style ticketing model he helped implement as part of the team’s A’s Access program in 2019 at RingCentral Coliseum and his aim of helping other teams and properties develop programs of their own. Is the subscription model the wave of the future for baseball and other sports teams? I believe it is. Fans are demanding flexibility. Teams and other properties do need a better business model, one that removes the revenue ceiling, builds more sustainable revenue streams and provides fans with significant value for their direct relationship with the team. I think as an industry we’ve been hyperfocused on yield management […]

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