Scalpers held at bay for Church show: Coliseum Commission meeting 4/16

By Sheena Barnett

Here are some interesting notes from this past Monday’s Coliseum Commission meeting:

– The arena is expected to see 250,000 visitors this year. This has happened only one other time, in 1998-99. Director Todd Hunt said the arena also hopes to have at least two more concerts by September, in addition to Dierks Bentley in May and Jeremy Camp in July.

– Several big meetings/conventions were just held at the arena, including Mississippi Natural Gas, Jr. Beta Club and Victory Cheer. All of these events went well, Hunt said.

– Eric Church was Thursday night, drawing in about 7,000 visitors. With other shows, scalpers from across the country (like NY, Chicago, LA, etc.) would buy sometimes hundreds of tickets and scalp them, but the arena began using a program that restricted buyers to local zip codes. For Eric Church, it was easy to see how the program worked, with all ticket sales coming from around here: Tupelo, Columbus, West Point, Memphis, Jackson (both MS and TN), Birmingham, Nashville, Meridian, etc.

– The Avett Brothers show was Saturday, drawing in about 2,500. As Hunt said, “Nobody got rich off that show,” but “the promoter made money, the band made money, the building made money,” so they were all happy. The Arena hopes to have more shows like these in the future.
Hunt also said the Avett Brothers were “one of the few bands that say, ‘Thank you,’ at the end of the night.”

– The committee approved a motion to accept a bid for work from P&G Contract Services. The concrete around the upper bowl of the arena needs a fresh seal on it. Not only will P&G have to work around the seats, but also the arena’s event schedule.
The committee also approved to get rid of a few old items, like metal detectors that were first purchased when the arena opened in 93, and an old Zamboni.