M&T Bank Stadium Lines Up Non-Ravens Events Before Football Season
M&T Bank Stadium will host U2 tonight and the Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam on July 9, and if the Ravens "remain sidelined in the NFL's three-months-and-counting lockout, these special events will prove to be a reprieve," according to Ken Murray of the Baltimore SUN. In '08, the Kenny Chesney country music festival drew 38,000 fans to M&T Bank Stadium, generating "more than $1 million in tax revenue for state and local government." Tonight's U2 concert "can reasonably be expected to double those figures." M&T Bank Stadium hosted the NCAA men's lacrosse final four in May, and Ravens President Dick Cass said that the "goal is to hold three or four significant events at the stadium, other than Ravens games." Murray notes there is "no guarantee a deal will be reached in time to save" the '11 NFL season, and "no one wants to see the venue, which was completed in 1998 at a cost of $220 million, sit idle for any length of time." Other events are "planned to make use of areas" around Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium this summer, including the African-American Heritage Festival on July 2-3 and the first IndyCar Baltimore Grand Prix from Sept. 2-4. In addition, Maryland Stadium Authority Exec Dir Mike Frenz said that the stadium "will host a number of college football games in the next five years." What "could have pushed this summer's stadium schedule over the top was a matchup of international soccer teams," similar to the Chelsea-AC Milan match in Baltimore in '09, but the Ravens "couldn't make it happen" in '11 (Baltimore SUN, 6/22).
SHIPPING UP TO BOSTON: In Boston, gossip columnists Fee & Raposa report the Dropkick Murphys, Mighty Mighty Bosstones and "perhaps even Pearl Jam will rock Fenway Park in September." Sources said that ballpark officials "applied to the city for concert permits on Thursday, Sept. 8 through Saturday, Sept. 10 and that the Sox are seeking permission to host concerts by two local bands" and Pearl Jam, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein's "personal rock fave." A public hearing on the shows is set for Monday (BOSTON HERALD, 6/22).