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,


Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19 edition

Greetings from the arena! While things are quiet on the entertainment front this summer, we have been busy with various projects and activities over the past month.
• Rascal Flatts spent eight days here working on their stage set for this year’s tour, and we spent every day working on their handlers to bring that tour to Tupelo for all of their local fans! While we don’t have anything to announce at this point we remain optimistic that we will be able to bring the trio back to town for a performance in the coming months.
• In anticipation of our upcoming basketball game featuring the University of Memphis and LSU, we purchased and installed two new Spalding basketball goals. Our existing goals were seventeen years old and, while still functional, needed to be replaced. Our plan is to host more basketball games in the future so that the new goals will be put to good use.
• Last weekend we hosted roughly 1,000 returning active duty troops and their families for a two day program entitled “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon”. The purpose of this event was to help soldiers and their families with the transition from their overseas deployment back to civilian life. We’ll be hosting another installment of this event in August.
• Along with the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau and the city Parks and Recreation department we welcome the Dizzy Dean 9 year old World Series and the USSSA youth slow pitch World Tournament to Tupelo with opening ceremonies in the Arena. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait for a table in area restaurants this weekend!
And earlier this week we announced an upcoming performance by Jason Aldean with special guest Luke Bryan. Tickets for their September 24 concert will go on sale Friday, July 30 at 10AM. We anticipate a sellout crowd for the show so get your tickets early.

Friday, June 18, 2010

June 18

I suppose the only news that could be better than the announcement from Toyota would be that the plant is opening next week instead of next year. What a great day for northeast Mississippi! As an entertainment facility we depend on area residents having disposable income in order to support our programming. Over the past 18 months we have been somewhat restrained in our approach to the concert business as a direct reflection of the local economy. Toyota’s renewed commitment to the Blue Springs facility (and the 2,000+ jobs that come with it) will allow us to ramp up our entertainment offerings accordingly. We’re poised and ready for growth.

With the talk about growth I think it’s important to mention what we’ve been able to accomplish so far this year even in the throes of the great recession. Attendance for the fiscal year to date (our year began on October 1) is over 200,000 for the third straight year which hasn’t happened since 1995-97. Not including our Broadway series we will host 10 concerts for the year even in this down economy. Past total concerts per year have varied from a high of 17 in fiscal year 95 to a low of 4 in fiscal years 2000, 2001, and 2007. Thanks so much for your support!

Friday, January 22, 2010

January 22, 2010

So who ordered the March weather for January? Much better than the subfreezing temps we had just a couple of weeks ago. Believe it or not, it was so cold that pipes inside the cooling tower for the ice plant froze. That’s just not right…

Speaking of ice, the skating rink has officially left the building for the season. We had great turnouts for the two hockey games between MSU and LSU (nearly 6,000 people for the two game series) and our public skating numbers continue to grow. Each year we add more skating sessions and it looks like that trend will continue in 2011.

As I type we have over a foot of dirt on the arena floor. Quite a change from the inch of ice that was there for the past two months! The Northeast Mississippi Championship Rodeo rides into town Friday and Saturday with shows at 7:30 both nights. Hope to see you there.

Our operations crew has quite a challenge in front of them for the next two weeks. We have 48 hours to remove the dirt, clean, and set up for the CDF Business Expo, which will be held next Tuesday and Wednesday. We follow that with the Silver Ring Thing event on Thursday, Rickey Smiley on Friday, and a cheerleading meet on Saturday. Thankfully we have four days between the cheerleaders and Brad Paisley, but then there’s an overnight changeover to prepare for the Mississippi Episcopal Conference. It’s a lot of work crammed into a small window, but we’re glad to be busy!