Shedding Prices In Michigan

Palace Sports & Entertainment recently held a two-day fire sale for its two Michigan sheds with most reserved seats at $20 and lawn pricing at $5.

More than 50 concerts at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston and MeadowBrook Music Festival in Rochester Hills were discounted for the July 10-11 sale. Included on the list were Creedence Clearwater Revisited, The Beach Boys, Ted Nugent, Hootie & The Blowfish, Styx/Foreigner, Randy Travis, and Brad Paisley. Some shows had pavilion seats priced as low as $10; Alan Jackson‘s $64 seats went for $40.

Many amphitheatres did fire sales on lawn seating in 2004, but the industry is trying to move away from those desperation tactics because it teaches fans to wait for a summer sale.

At DTE, $45 pavilion seating for Patti LaBelle and The Black Crowes was marked down to $20; $65 pavilion seating for Anita Baker went for $20; and all-day $45.50 lawn passes for Ozzfest were discounted to $20.

“[Fans] burned up our phone lines during the first two hours this morning (July 10th), so that’s pretty good,” PS&E President Tom Wilson told Pollstar. “Everybody is talking about this because it’s nothing we’ve ever done before.”

Wilson said he’s trying to move as many tickets as possible for the approximately 120 concerts to be held between both sheds this season. The sale was also a way to get “butts in the seats” and give concertgoers an experience that will entice them to return.

“I love the idea because there are definitely people involved just to save a dollar, (but) there’s other people saying, ‘Boy, that’s a great deal,'” Wilson said. “And there’s a third group saying, ‘I wasn’t going to go all summer, but this is terrific.'”

Artists had to green-light the slashed prices. Most agreed, but others like Jimmy Buffett and Tom Petty, who already had sold-out gigs, didn’t need to.

“It’s the other guys who have to look at this,” Wilson said. Ted Nugent, The Beach Boys, and Creedence Clearwater Revisited are each scheduled for two shows, which means they need to sell 30,000 tickets each to fill up the property.

This isn’t the first time DTE and MeadowBrook have rolled back summer prices on lawn seats, but it’s the first time prices have been slashed for lawn and pavilion seating, according to Wilson.

Depending on the number of tickets sold, the sale “blitz” could become an annual event.

“The truth is in the results, and that’s what we’ll find,” Wilson said. “The next time we call the manager for The Beach Boys and say, ‘We moved 1,500 seats for your concert last year in two days, do you want to do it again?’ I think we’ll get good feedback.”

– Mitchell Peters