What’s It like to Be the Guy Who Books the Acts at the Denny Sanford Premier Center? I Asked Him.
It's a big weekend for classic rockers in the Sioux Empire! Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band tickets officially go on sale to the general public Saturday morning at 10:00 AM for the March 17th show at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls.
Not only is this a great chance to see a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer at a reasonable price ($65 - $85), it's also an opportunity for classic rock fans to send a strong message to the folks who book shows at "The Denny" and to concert promoters: classic rock sells in Sioux Falls!
There's no reason why this show should sell out in a few days, if we are willing to show our appreciation for Seger coming here.
The more classic rock shows that sell out, the more we'll get. It's that simple.
This week, I talked with Chris Semrau, the assistant general manager at the Premier Center, the man responsible for booking the acts that come to our new venue.
We started with the logistics of buying tickets for the Seger show:
In the short four months "The Denny" has been opened, the facility has generated plenty of excitement, rivaled only by a wave of criticism from Sioux Falls some concert goers.
Complaints ranging from ticket prices, pre-sales, seating capacity, and what some perceive as a country-centric booking strategy have been a near constant.
I asked Chris about some of those perceptions and some of the challenges of booking acts at the Premier Center:
There are a few important things to remember before you vent your displeasure about which acts we're getting at "The Denny":
1) The facility hasn't even been open for six months. These things take time. Just because your favorite act isn't coming now doesn't mean they might not be here in the next few years. There are a lot of promoters that are taking a "wait and see" approach to our new building. We have the power to show them there's money to be made in these parts!
2) New facility or not, we're still in Sioux Falls. Not every act will come here. There's a reason Omaha and the Twin Cities get more of the big name shows: they have more people. Always have, always will.
3) Just because we have a brand spanking new building doesn't mean every promoter is going to pull their shows from Sioux City and Fargo and bring them here, at least not yet (see #1).
4) Speaking of Fargo, let's stop comparing our events center with the Fargodome. There's a reason why they have more than 20,000 seats and we don't: football. That facility was built for the North Dakota State Bison, who have now won four straight national championships. We don't have anything that draws like that in Sioux Falls.
5) Concerts aren't cheap anymore. The best seats for most shows now in any city, at any venue, will cost $100 or more. That's the new reality. Sioux Falls shows will be no different. Tickets costing $16.50 to see the likes of Garth Brooks have gone the way of $1.00 gas.
Here's my philosophy: when a show is announced at "The Denny," I'd love it to be someone I want to see. If not, I still want it to sell out, regardless of whether I like the act or not. You should too.
That's your best hope of the next concert announcement being your favorite band.