Last Friday night, my friends and I officially kicked off the best time of the year.
It’s the time of year when you start seeing boots and camoflauge, denim, and flannel pop up around town.
It’s Hobart Arena concert season.
While I generally take a few days off in the summer to attend Country Concert, I love that I don’t travel too far from the farm when Hobart Arena’s concert season kicks off in the fall.
And it’s finally here and I’m one happy gal.
Last Friday, I was able to sneak into the arena to do a quick feature on a friendly part-time arena usher.
To be honest, now that I am on a first name basis with Mark, I’ll probably have to behave myself if I ever find myself with stage front tickets.
Speaking with Mark and a few other ushers before the first concert of the season was enjoyable. If you get a chance, talk to them for a few minutes next time you attend an event. They make each Hobart Arena event a fun and relaxing evening for the thousands of people who attend each year.
To all who don the marroon vests for each event, thank you for all your hard work throughout the concert season.
It was after last week’s show that I began thinking about how much money I personally spend for one Hobart Arena event.
To help illustrate the ripple effect of just one event at Hobart Arena can have on the local economy, I whipped up this breakdown because I was curious myself:
1. Ticket sales: OK, so this is the easy part. When the Brett Eldredge concert was announced in July, this is how a typical “Girl’s Night Out” at the arena conversation starts:
Friend 1: I want to go! Friend 2: Me, too! Friend 1: We need to ask Suzy, Judy and Barb. Friend 2: OK! I’ll get all the seats.
So two ticket sales grows into at least five or six by the time the order is placed online.
Price per ticket: $35 per person
2. Shopping: This may not be true for all patrons, but I can’t help but buy a new shirt or a new pair of jeans before going out on the town. Hey, I don’t get out much, so I use an event like going to a concert to treat myself once in a great while. While this money wasn’t technically spent in Miami County, I still stimulated the economy just a smidgen. I try to shop local at all the great shops. Half the fun of people watching is seeing what everyone wears to these events!
New shirt at T.J. Maxx: $15
3. Dinner and drinks: Since this event was on a Friday night, my friend Michelle offered to snag us a table at one of the more popular downtown Troy sports bars after work. We all ordered food and multiple drinks and met up with several others who were going to the show. Each restaurant was packed with people enjoying themselves before heading across the river.
Final tab per person: around $25 with tip
4. Parking: Mr. Obvious kindly dropped us off downtown so we didn’t have to worry about parking. Having your own personal designated driver is handy. He also picked us up later that evening. We enjoyed walking from downtown to the arena before and after the show. I enjoyed the scenic walk on the new Adams Street bridge and we stopped to overlook the river. The trees on the levee were pretty colors and the sun had just set as we walked over the bridge. It was a highlight of the evening.
5. Arena concessions: Since we had already ate downtown, we treated ourselves to a few drinks and a popcorn at the concert.
Concessions and a few beverages: $15
6. After show fun: Since the concert ended a little early, the Queen and I walked back downtown. We ran into a few more people we knew and ended up staying out until way past our bedtimes.
Final tab: $20
The grand total for just myself was around $110.
So if you include the four other people who were in my group that night, our group spent $540 for one evening in and around the city of Troy for one event.
For more than 65 years, Hobart Arena has hosted hundreds of fun and unique events ranging from family-friendly events such as the circus, Elvis’ famous appearance, skating and hockey games. In the last few years, the arena has added a variety of music concerts featuring headlining country music artists like Luke Bryan and chart topping Christian music acts.
This is just a small snapshot of how one Hobart Arena event makes an economic impact at downtown shops and restaurants that is much bigger than general ticket sales alone.
With the proposed (and not to exceed) $7 million renovation and expansion project on the horizon, I’m looking forward to seeing how it will make arena events more inviting for the next 65 years and beyond.
But first and foremost, I’m looking forward to the rest of concert season! See you at the show!
“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. Her cowboy boots have actually seen the inside of a barn.