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Huntington arena, Clay Center among top concert venues

By JIM ROSS

The State Journal

The Big Sandy Superstore Arena in Huntington ranked number 181 among arenas in the world in concert ticket sales in the first half of this year, according to Pollstar Magazine.

Veteran rockers KISS broke arena records in Huntington with their September concert.
(Submitted photo)

It is the only West Virginia arena on the list of the Top 200.

The arena ranked 108th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“For a market this size, we’re very proud of that accomplishment,” Rik Edgar, booking manager for the arena, said.

The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston was Number 190 on the Top 200 theaters in the world for ticket sales. No West Virginia venues were listed on the Top 200 clubs, Top 50 amphitheaters or Top 50 outdoor concert venues.

The Big Sandy Superstore Arena finished the fiscal year June 30 with $3.7 million in ticket sales, breaking the previous record of $2.8 million in 2012, Edgar said. Concerts by KISS, Luke Bryan, Journey and other big-name acts helped, he added.

The breakthrough for the arena came with the Def Leppard concert on May 18, 2016, Edgar said. A concert promoter took a chance on booking a show at the arena, which has fewer than 7,000 seats. It was the first concert in the arena’s 40-year history with ticket prices greater than $100, he said.

“That was a market changer for us,” Edgar said. “When we sold that show out, that opened the eyes to many in the industry that Huntington would support a more expensive ticket.”

Edgar said it will be difficult to top fiscal year 2017’s sales, but it’s possible.

“We’re going to take what the market provides us,” he said. “We’ve got soe cool things coming we’re not ready to announce. We’ve got big plans for our 40th year. We just haven’t started announcing dates.”

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