SBD/Issue 37/Facilities & Venues

M&T Bank Stadium Not Likely To Book Concerts For Next Few Years

M&T Bank Stadium More Likely To Pursue
Sporting Events Than Rock Concerts

M&T Bank Stadium officials said that with “strong regional competition and weak sales for concerts nationwide, the stadium isn’t likely to book musical headliners when the Ravens aren’t in season for the next few years,” according to Erik Maza of the Baltimore SUN. Pop acts are now “more likely to settle for smaller arenas, which cost less and sell faster.” Booking a show at M&T “is a complicated dance that involves many players: Live Nation, the nation’s biggest tour promoter; regional competition from FedEx Field near Washington D.C. and Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia; and the Ravens and Orioles, with whom M&T shares parking space.” The Maryland Stadium Authority runs M&T Bank Stadium, but the Ravens “book the shows.” U2 is scheduled to play at the stadium next year after a deal to play in ’09 “fell apart because the fall date promoters Live Nation wanted conflicted with the Ravens schedule.” The “same thing happened with Sting’s The Police” in ’07. Maza notes FedExField “has been more successful at booking headliners than Baltimore.” When M&T “couldn’t accommodate U2 last year, the band instead played at FedEx, which also hosted Paul McCartney in the same year.” Ravens VP/Stadium Operations Roy Sommerhof said that the “cost of a stadium concert means they can only book artists who can sell all 70,000 seats, or they won’t make a profit.” He noted that is “why M&T hasn’t had a concert since 2008’s Kenny Chesney show.” M&T instead of booking concerts “has pursued sporting events,” hosting an AC Milan-Chelsea match as part of the World Football Challenge and the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships. Sommeroff “hesitated” when asked when the next U2-like event would happen. He said that the “stadium has a few feelers out, but didn’t know if something similar was possible in the next two years” (Baltimore SUN, 11/2).

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