Stadiums Team Up To Lure Tours

Venues form group to build awareness.

Ten National Football League stadiums have joined forces to form the Gridiron Stadium Network, a not-for-profit advocacy group focusing on luring concerts and other events to stadiums.

The GSN will lobby industry, business and community leaders to ensure awareness of the opportunities available to them at the stadiums. The ultimate goal is to create new revenue streams for NFL team and stadium owners.

Veteran facility executive Tom Rooney is the point man for the GSN; a search for an executive director is under way.

The GSN currently includes the following facilities: Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, N.Y.; Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio; Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver; Ford Field, Detroit; Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis.; Reliant Stadium, Houston; Heinz Field, Pittsburgh; FedEx Field, Washington, D.C.; Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.; and Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia.

“These are great venues, and everyone felt they should be used more,” says Rooney. “They’re open in the summer time, and they’re flexible.”

There has been a dearth of stadium tours in the past decade. The last big year for stadium tours was 1994, when Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, the Eagles and the Grateful Dead all played such venues.

The trend recently has been for superstar acts that could potentially play stadiums -- such as Madonna, U2, Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones -- to instead play multiple dates at arenas, often grossing more than they would have at a stadium.

“We believe there is no such thing as a stadium act, an arena act or a club act,” says Rooney. “It’s all in how you package to create a dynamic that will draw 50,000 people. Acts want to go where they can sell tickets, and these are beautiful venues, with plenty of parking, amenities and facilities. We just need to interface with the talent agencies.”


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