18 Jun 2013

Two board meetings, one board meeting round-up post…

Coliseum Commission – 6/17

  • The commission discussed how financially well the conference center has done in its first year of being a part of the BancorpSouth Arena. According to Kim Hanna, the conference center is doing “a little better” than breaking even, but there are still some accounts the arena is settling up with the Hilton Garden Inn regarding the conference center. Director Todd Hunt said he hoped to start the conference center off slow and grow from there, and he hopes the conference center can balance out the peaks and valleys in the entertainment side of what the arena does.
  • Hunt recently traveled to Nashville where he met with promoters, and director of operations Craig Russell traveled to a building management conference.
  • Arena and conference center attendance is 233,000+ YTD.
  • Recent shows and events include:
    Brantley Gilbert, who brought in more than 6,700, which was 2,000 more than his Biloxi concert right around that same time.
    Turning Point Ministries brought in a full house. They return to markets about every three years, so expect to see them again in a few years.
    Blues Jam brought in a small but devoted crowd, and the arena hopes this becomes an annual event.
    Blue Suede Cruise brought in 8,000.
    IMPACT Wrestling was a half-house setting, so it brought in more than 3,400 fans.
    The arena hosted Lee County and Tupelo High School graduations, and added Nettleton High School for next year.
    Rascal Flatts’ tour crew rehearsed in the arena, bringing in 600 crew members.
  • Upcoming events include the Father/Daughter Ball and the CME regional conference.
  • The arena announced two concerts for this fall, Backstreet Boys in August and John Fogerty in October. Marketing director Kevan Kirkpatrick said the building’s Twitter and Facebook feeds “blew up” with the news that Backstreet Boys is coming. Both shows go on sale Friday.
    The arena turns 20 in October, so all of the concerts for this 2013-2014 season will be in the building’s special 20th anniversary concert season.
    Other events include Anthony Hamilton, PBR and Disney Live.
  • The arena’s facelift is coming along, but has required more work than expected. Underneath the EIFS that covers the building, crews discovered rusted columns and metal studs from water damage. Hunt chose to fix those problems, which has cost an extra $91,130, which was available in the arena’s capital fund. It adds an additional 34 days of work, so the new completion date is Sept. 19.
  • The conference center’s contract with Southern Twists expires in mid-July, and the commission discussed its options. No decisions were made.


  • The next concert in the Link Centre’s Monthly Music Mix series is country singer-songwriter Lisa Lambert. Her show will be 7:30 p.m. June 29 in the reception hall.
    July is open, and guitarist Trace Bundy will perform Aug. 9 in the concert hall. Jazz performers Breeze Cayolle and Michael Jefry Stevens will perform on Sept. 27. They’re planning a Sunday afternoon gospel show for October.
    Board member Bob Ray suggested having local singer-songwriters open up for artists who perform at the Monthly Music Mix series.
  • Link Centre executive director Melanie Deas went to Atlanta to choose movies for the upcoming Indie Film Series, presented by South Arts. This season of films will be shown on Friday nights.
  • The Tupelo Film Commission is hosting free movies in Fairpark this summer. The first is “Hotel Transylvania” on June 20. There will be a James Bond double feature on July 18, and “My Dog Skip” on Sept. 20. All movies start at 8 p.m., are free, and folks are welcome to bring blankets and lawn chairs.
  • The most recent event in the Link Centre’s Words with Films series was the May the 4th event, which was a big success. The series will take a break this summer and return with a school-related movie in August.
  • Mime and mask-maker Doug Berkey is the artist-in-residence who will come to the Link Centre and schools next February. West of Shake Rag will open for him.
  • There was also talk of creating city-wide family-friendly Halloween events.