Tag: May 2020

North Star

I WISH U HEAVEN: People listen to Prince music during a memorial street party outside First Avenue on April 21, 2016. (Getty Images) For 50 years, Minneapolis’ First Avenue has celebrated independence Few clubs stick around for 50 years. Even fewer remain independent. And fewer still drive the national conversation for decades. That’s what First Avenue, the iconic Minneapolis venue that’s proved pivotal for artists including Prince, Hüsker Dü, and Lizzo, while serving as one of the Midwest’s chief musical beacons, has done. “The mission remains the same as it has been for 50 years: to provide music and community,” says Dayna Frank, who has owned and operated First Avenue since 2009. “We operate under the same vision and values as we did in 1970, which is a place where everyone is welcome and where everyone can come and express themselves and be exactly who they are.” But while First […]

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Deep South: Rock Solid

RETURN OF THE PARROTHEADS: Jimmy Buffett plays Simmons Bank Arena in 2012. His June show at the venue was one of the highlights of a busy 2019. (Nelson Chenault) Arkansas’ Simmons Bank Arena has a new naming-rights deal and a successful 2019 to build on Simmons Bank Arena opened in North Little Rock, Ark., in 1999, and the building and its veteran staff have seen changes over the years: naming rights sponsors, sports tenants that have come and gone, improvements to make the experience of attending more special for its patrons. There have been plenty of big moments and big shows, like the George Strait concert back in 2006 that drew a building-record 18,000 people. But like venues around the world, it’s never seen anything like what’s going on now, as COVID-19 keeps the doors closed and live sports and entertainment stands at a halt. Michael Marion, general manager of the […]

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Family Shows: Shark Attack

SEA YOU SOON: Plans call for Baby Shark Live! to hit the road again in the fall for rescheduled dates. (Courtesy Baby Shark Live!) A YouTube earworm becomes a successful live tour and proves TV isn’t the only place to find a hit When Korean-based YouTube channel Pinkfong put up its version of the “Baby Shark” song in November 2015, it quickly became a cultural phenomenon. Fast forward five years, and 5 billion video views later, and this moneymaker is on Year Two as the first major children’s brand tour that isn’t propelled by a television show. “We thought it would be a challenge without deep penetration, but being a phenomenon, and the second most viewed YouTube video ever, helped,” said Jonathan Linden, who with Stephen Shaw is co-president of New York City-based Round Room Live, the tour’s producer. “We were high on the Baby Shark property; we loved the […]

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For Four New Venues, Opening Day Becomes a Moving Target

READY TO GO: Lynn Family Stadium is one of the new venues that postponed spring openings because of COVID-19. (Courtesy Louisville City FC) The national shutdown of sports and entertainment venues put a damper on four stadiums poised to open this spring across the country.  Globe Life Field, the Texas Rangers’ new $1.2 billion palace, is the most prominent facility affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Elsewhere, three smaller projects were ready to pop the bubbly until the coronavirus shelved those celebrations: Lynn Family Stadium, a soccer venue in Louisville; Wichita’s Triple-A Riverfront Stadium; and O’Brate Stadium, a college baseball facility in Stillwater, Okla. Keeping the doors closed after the outbreak has been a tough break for all four buildings and the principals involved in those developments. There are obvious concerns over the financial implications of losing revenue from events postponed and canceled because of the shutdown. If there’s a silver […]

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Worth the Wait

GLOBAL VISION: The Texas Rangers are ready to showcase their new diamond gem when MLB determines it’s safe for ballparks to open their doors again. (Courtesy Texas Rangers) When it opens, Globe Life Field will show off more than the big Texas sky ARLINGTON, TEXAS — In one of its first ballpark development meetings with the Texas Rangers, project architect HKS was eager to discuss its vision for Globe Life Field’s majestic roof, the driving force for building a new stadium to replace the team’s open-air home that opened in 1994. The designers’ excitement was muted after Ray Davis, the team’s co-owner and co-chairman, said, “I don’t want it to be about the roof.” “Great,” recalled Bryan Trubey, HKS global director, principal and executive vice president. “We’re going to have a giant roof and you don’t want the building to be about the roof. It ended up being one of […]

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Deep Clean

MR. CLEAN: Taylor Michel of Disinfecting Technologies Group prepares to disinfect Goldfarb Gymnasium at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore after an NCAA Division III basketball tournament game March 6. (Getty Images) Janitorial services will have a vital — and visible — role to play in return of live events In the new normal that awaits live event venues in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, sanitation, cleaning and janitorial services will no doubt play a major role in convincing attendees and staff that it’s safe to return. While the Trump administration has announced a roadmap to reopen the U.S. economy, public assembly facilities included, some polls indicate the event-going public will be wary, at first, of returning en masse to live events. Venue hygiene will be crucial to not only ensuring the safety of fans, artists, athletes and crews but also engendering the level of confidence necessary for a return […]

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Federal Plan Addresses Reopening Venues

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases introduce federal guidelines on reopening the U.S. economy at a media briefing Thursday. (Getty Images) Phased reentry will allow bigger crowds as states meet benchmarks President Donald Trump on April 16 announced a plan to reopen the U.S. economy, including guidelines for public assembly facilities, after weeks of closures aimed at stemming the coronavirus pandemic. The federal guidelines are nonbinding and put decision-making in the hands of states and their governors. The Trump administration’s “Opening Up America Again” plan calls for a phased reopening of businesses based on benchmarks, dubbed gating criteria, that must first be met. “In terms of sports, they’ll probably start off — as you know I spoke to the commissioners yesterday of almost, I guess of every sport — and many of them are going to be starting […]

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Mid-Atlantic: ‘We’ve Kind of Stopped Projecting’

SAAAA-LUTE: The Black Keys play The Anthem, one of several Washington, D.C.-area venues that I.M.P. operates. (John Shore) When the time is right, D.C.’s I.M.P. will aim to return The Anthem to its newfound glory The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on hundreds of venues across the country over the past month, leading to thousands of layoffs and show cancellations as promoters and building owners wait for their governors to announce when their states will be open for business again. In the D.C. area, independent promoter I.M.P. was looking forward to a robust year at its venues, which include the legendary 9:30 Club, Merriweather Post Pavilion amphitheater and 3-year-old The Anthem, just blocks from the National Mall. After a busy 2019 that saw The Anthem welcome artists from Robyn and Kenny Chesney to Lizzo, Bob Dylan, Mumford & Sons and primate researcher Dr. Jane Goodall, while the 9:30 Club hosted […]

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Despite Delay, William Hill Making Progress in D.C.

Bookmaker William Hill still plans to make the biggest — and first — sportsbook splash in a Washington, D.C., stadium or arena when conditions allow for the construction and opening of a new 365-day-a-year sportsbook inside Capital One Arena, home of the NBA’s Wizards and the NHL’s Capitals.

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Insurance Costs Rise With Venue Price Tags

BIG MONEY: SoFi Stadium, scheduled to open this summer in Inglewood, Calif., is a $5 billion project. (Getty Images) Latest tech, link to mixed-use projects complicate risk assessment Premium amenities, high-tech features and the continuing trend of situating venues in downtown or mixed-use developments have complicated the task of assessing risk and appropriately insuring stadium projects, experts in the field say. And as project costs have risen, so have insurance costs, which can run anywhere from 1% to 2.5% of the total construction price, according to brokers involved in the field. Unique design elements like see-through ETFE roofs, high-capacity Wi-Fi and telecom systems, mechanisms that move walls, open and close roofs, reconfigure stands or swap out playing surfaces and everything that goes into building them are factors that risk consultants, brokers, underwriters and ultimately owners must take into account. As design and construction have evolved, so has the process of […]

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New Naming-Rights Candidates Emerge

The naming-rights space could emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic with tech-driven mobile delivery services putting themselves in a greater position to place their names on arenas and stadiums, consultants said.

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