Below is a news summary by Seth Orozco, an Entertainment Management student at Missouri State University.
(from Sports Business Journal, February 19, 2012) Basketball arenas and football stadiums have a history of hosting concerts in between games or in the off season, but recently professional soccer teams have begun to follow suit. The Soccer Stadium Alliance, a network of seven MLS clubs and one North American soccer League’s Rochester Rhinos, formed in August to lobby the concert industry for more shows. Together, the Soccer Stadium Alliance hired promoter Donnie Frizzell to show possible future bands and their management that the alliance is willing to take on the financial risk of these concerts. Each stadium offers a capacity ranging from 18,000 to 27,000 people, which is larger than many venues the potential bands play in. The alliance has submitted over 20 offers to over a dozen artists and tours including Kiss, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Aerosmith and Journey. Answers to these offers will be coming soon, as these bands set their itinerary for the busy summer season.
Each park has a different number of offers due to their location to the already set tour dates, and because many of them are getting offers outside the alliance through their management firm. PPL Park has about a dozen different offers on the table through their management firm Global Spectrum. One of the biggest reluctances a park has with hosting these concerts, and why they don’t just accept every offer, is the expense of putting them on. The cost of protecting the field in Columbus is $80,000. Jason Aldean’s agent Kevin Neal explained, sports teams can be real picky about what they want on the field because their overall concern is about the venue and the anchor MLS tenants. Aldean played Nationwide Arena last year to a crowd of 14,000 in Columbus and this year is scheduled to play at the Columbus Crew Stadium, which is anticipating over 27,000 people. The number of shows is unknown, but the future looks bright for soccer venues being on the concert calendar.