Friday, October 12, 2012


So what is an IEBA? While is sounds like something from the old Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner cartoons, it actually stands for International Entertainment Buyers Association. We attended their annual conference in Nashville this past week where we had the chance to visit with talent agents, promoters, and artists all looking for work. The one thing that sets this conference apart from the others that we attend is that bands actually perform as a part of the conference schedule! Several years ago these performances actually took place in the clubs of lower Broadway in Nashville but now everything has moved to the historic War Memorial Auditorium. The acts typically featured are either up and coming performers (who end up as opening acts on our larger shows) or artists who are no longer arena level acts. As you might imagine, most of the artists are country (Thompson Square, Steel Magnolia, Eli Young Band, Gary Allan) but some rock acts (Barenaked Ladies, Leon Russell, Hinder, 3 Doors Down) also performed. And where else but at an entertainment conference could one run into celebrities like Charley Pride and Paula Abdul in the elevator? What can we expect from attending the conference? It's hard to say but we did meet the people responsible for shows like Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert, Reba, Keith Urban, and Zac Brown while we were there. We left town knowing that one major concert announcement will take place soon with more possibly to follow. Stay tuned for more information!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

we're back!

So sorry for the extended break in the blog. No real excuse for it; I've just been incredibly busy and it seems that once you get out of the habit of doing something it becomes that much harder to get back into the routine. I'll do my best to make this a weekly post from here on out.
Here's a sample of what we've been working on in the arena. Credit for this idea goes to our promoter friends at Live Nation, who pulled me aside during last February's sold out Jason Aldean concert and pointed out the dingy white walls behind the stage that detracted from the stage view. Ever notice how baseball fields always have a wall in center field to allow the batter to better see the ball coming towards him? Same concept here. We'll get an added benefit of more sound absorption with the additional 6,000 square feet of curtains. I'd call that a win/win! We're also working on our calendar for 2012 and beyond. Upcoming events include the Tupelo Fair September 27-30, Sesame Street Live October 2-3, and Bill Gaither and Friends November 9.

Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29

Ice Ice Baby! What a horrible song but it does sum up what’s been happening in the arena this week. If you like us on Facebook you’ve probably seen the photos as we transform the arena floor from its’ traditional concrete form to a regulation-sized hockey rink. As I type this our crews have applied the base coat, painted the surface white, and laid out the hockey lines. The final step is to cover the painted surfaces with more water to build the ice thickness to ½ to ¾ inches.

All of this preparation is in anticipation of our first hockey games of the season next November 5 & 6 featuring Mississippi State University and Auburn University. Tickets for those games are on sale now here . We’ll also be offering public ice skating over the next few months. Weekend sessions in November will be Nov. 6, 7, 13, and 14. Specific times are available on our website . New this year will be a ten session discount pass available for $50 (a savings of $20!). Individual rates will remain the same as 2009 - $7 per skater per session. Feel free to contact us to schedule private parties as well based on availability.

May all of your trick or treating go well this weekend…

Until next time,


Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22

Last weekend’s event featured lots of bikers. This weekend: a women’s religious conference. Can you say diversity? We’ll hosting another returning event this Friday and Saturday as the Extraordinary Women event makes its second visit to the arena. Onsite registration will be available beginning at 6PM Friday for anyone wishing to attend. Featured guests include Stormie Omartian, Chonda Pierce, NewSong, and MercyMe.

This week’s blog details how sometimes the best laid plans can go awry. Last Friday we placed tickets on sale for a December 11 appearance by WWE. Advance sales were very strong and we anticipated a great turnout for the event. On Tuesday we got a call from the good folks at WWE stating that there might be a problem with our scheduled show, as they had a performance for returning U.S. troops and their families in Fort Hood, Texas, that was being rescheduled, possibly to the same day as our event. Not exactly what we wanted to hear!

Late Wednesday afternoon we were notified that our December show was being rescheduled for Sunday, May 8. Again, not what we wanted to hear but we’re not going to complain about a benefit performance for our service men and women. They certainly deserve it as a small token of appreciation for the sacrifices they make on behalf of our country. So, anyone who has already purchased tickets for the December 11 WWE event in the arena can use the tickets for the Sunday, May 8 appearance. If for some reason you have tickets but are unable to attend on the new date you may return your tickets to the point of purchase for a refund. Tickets for the new show date are on sale here.

Other events slated for the arena in the coming months include MSU vs. Auburn hockey on November 5 and 6, public skating November 6, 7, and 13, Rodney Carrington November 11, Memphis vs. LSU basketball on November 21, Disney on Ice Princess Classics November 24-28, and the first performance in our Broadway series (Grease) November 30. What a month!

Until next time,


Friday, October 15, 2010

October 15

If you notice a few more motorcycles around town this weekend, odds are they’re here with the Gold Wing Road Riders Association. This is our second year to host this group and we’re quite happy to see them again. If you get a chance, be sure to make these visitors feel welcome in the All-American City.

We’ve just completed our fiscal year and I wanted to share a bit of good news with you. For the year we hosted 240,512 guests, which is the second largest total in our 17 year history (256,549 is the record set back in 1999). To put that in perspective, our average annual attendance is 171,388. This marks the third consecutive year that we have topped the 200,000 mark, a feat that has only been accomplished once before (1995-97). We’ve never had four consecutive years of 200,000+ attendance but that is our goal for this year. Thanks so much for your support!

This weeks’ show announcement was the return of WWE on Saturday, December 11. Tickets go on sale today (October 15) at 10AM and are available here. Look for more event announcements soon.

Have a great week!

Until next time,


Friday, October 8, 2010

October 8

I’m back from a two day trip to Nashville where I was attending the annual IEBA (International Entertainment Buyers Association) meeting. While I was there I had the chance to meet with the agents and promoters who are responsible for bringing many of our shows to the venue. Believe it or not, country music wasn’t the only genre that was discussed. The meetings went well and we should have a few more shows to announce soon. Stay tuned…

Speaking of shows, the Chris Tomlin Christmas tour will be making a stop in Tupelo on December 17. This will be the final date of his 2010 tour and tickets go on sale Friday, October 8, at 10AM here . Can you believe that Christmas is only a little more than two months away? Where has this year gone?

To get prepared for the Christmas season, we’re doing some maintenance on the equipment for our ice skating rink. We’ll have a couple of public ice skating sessions in early November but will turn the arena into ice skating central during the Christmas break. Expect daily sessions December 20 through January 2 with a few other dates scattered in December and January.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

September 30, 2010

Wow! Last weekend was an extremely busy one for us here in the arena. First we hosted 8,000 enthusiastic Jason Aldean fans on Friday night. As the last of Jason’s gear was being loaded onto his trucks in the wee hours Saturday morning we had the crew from Disney Live rolling into the arena for their early load in. By 6PM we had entertained another 3,000+ toddlers and their families. What a hectic 36 hours!

This weekend we’re hosting an abbreviated run of the Tupelo Fair. Show dates are Thursday, September 30 through Sunday, October 3 so don’t miss your chance to ride the rides and chow down on all the fair food you can eat. Other events in October include the return of the Honda Gold Wing Road Riders Association October 14-16 and the Extraordinary Women conference October 22-23.

November promises to be another busy month for us with MSU Ice Hockey vs. Auburn University, public skating, comedian Rodney Carrington, Memphis vs. LSU basketball, Disney on Ice Princess Classics, and the Broadway performance of Grease. Tickets for all of these events (except public skating which are only available at the door) are available here.

This past week featured ticket onsales for our Broadway Series (Grease, Rain, Legally Blonde, and The Color Purple) and the MSU/Auburn hockey games. Disney on Ice officially goes on sale Monday, October 4 and Chris Tomlin’s Christmas Tour concert (slated for Friday, December 17) will go on sale Friday, October 8. We’re still searching for the right rock show and another country show to add to the mix. Stay tuned for more announcements…

Until next time,