Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

CRVA seeks stadium events

The economic development business is somewhat detached from reality. OK, maybe a lot detached from reality. The latest case in point is city and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority’s attempt to host four additional events a year at Bank of America Stadium. As part of the deal that got the Carolina Panthers $87.5 million in taxpayer for stadium improvements, the CRVA gets to use the stadium five times a year for free for the next six years. One event each year is the Belk Bowl. The other uses though must come first half of the year though the CRVA can roll them over to future years if they can’t find enough takers for a particular year. Each stadium use is valued (in theory) at $250,000.

The CRVA and the city, of course, think the chance to offer up these events is just amazing, with the target market being concerts and international soccer matches. They’re suppose to generate a ton of hotel room stays and spending in Charlotte restaurants.

Good luck with that. The odds that the CRVA can find four events a year between January and June is slight — four additional events total over the next six years is probably more realistic. Having only half the year to work with is a significant issue, as is working around renovations at the stadium.

More fundamentally though, there are a rather finite number of international soccer matches held each year and the competition to host these events is fierce.

The concert business is doing better these days, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into a lot of stadium tour dates. For example, Bon Jovi (yes, Bon Jovi) was the top grossing tour of 2013, bringing in $259.5 million worldwide. Number of US stadium dates? Five (Chicago, Detroit, Foxburgh, MA, and the Meadowlands x 2). Bon Jovi though did play in the cable box in March and Raleigh’s PNC Arena in November.

And if the biggest show of 2013 came to town and didn’t draw anywhere near enough to justify the use of Bank of America Stadium, why should we expect other major acts to need to use Bank of America Stadium?

2 Responses to “CRVA seeks stadium events”

  • Jan

    This was probably an easy give by the Panthers since it’s not worth much. Plus someone, guess who? will be on the hook for all expenses

  • Jan

    I went to what may be my first and last event at Panthers Stadium in fall of 2012 when South Carolina played ECU. It was a major headache to park; the amount of alcohol flowing outside was scary because of the effect on the people drinking it; there was no security to be found when there were fights (this always happens at any ECU game-sorry); the parking space I did get was impossibly small. My wife will never return. I found the whole experience to be such a pain I doubt I’ll return when the Gamecocks play there again, which may be in the next few years. Or to any event at BOfA. Many Gameocks will stick to the friendly confines of Williams Brice stadium, and leave that place to the Charlotte Panthers.

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