News Journal Balla says Arena will hit nearly $ 3 million in ticket sales in 2021 – The News Journal


With four events scheduled for July, The Arena in Corbin is set for another busy month.

Arena manager Kristi Balla, who was hired to manage the facility in August 2016, recently came to the weekly Corbin Rotary Club meeting to talk about the growth in business at the site over the past five years.

“I did this meeting once shortly after I was hired, so I thought I would talk about what happened then and what is happening now,” Balla said.

“I can tell you I had no idea what a roller coaster would be,” Balla said.

Balla said that upon entering the building in 2016, it was empty and even more empty when she arrived at her office.

“The first thing I saw were the yellow walls of the ’70s hospital with no photos,” Balla said of the office. “There was just a big brown desk and they had their backs to the door.”

Balla said he found two things: a computer with financial information and a stack of bills.

They were just as depressing because there was $ 40,000 in The Arena’s bank account.

“I sat in my chair and said, ‘What did I get myself into? Said Balla.

Balla said that at the time the arena was seen as a large, empty building with a huge price tag hanging over the city.

“I decided I was going to treat it like I was starting my own business with a three-year lead time,” Balla said, adding that she hadn’t paid any bills or had no money. money to book shows.

“I didn’t want to start my trip this way,” Balla said.

Instead, Balla said she took out a piece of paper, wrote down the names of three musical acts that she was sure would wrap the place up, and taped it to the wall as a goal.

On the list were:

  • Lynyrd skynyrd
  • Charlie Daniels Band
  • Hank Williams, Jr.

“A few weeks later, Lynyrd Skynyrd was the first band I contacted as a promoter,” Balla said, adding that she didn’t have the money to bring such a gig to Corbin, but that ‘she had ties to the music industry. and was ready and willing to use them for the benefit of Corbin and The Arena.

Less than a year later, in April 2017, the classic rock band took to the stage in Corbin to a full house.

“It sold out within a week of going on sale,” Balla said, adding that Charlie Daniels and Hank Williams, Jr. had also performed in the venue to crowded crowds in two years.

Balla said she keeps an up-to-date list of the top three acts she’d like to bring to The Arena, but declined to say who is currently occupying it.

Additionally, Balla brought in WWE Wrestling, Rodney Carrington, Monster Trucks, Bull Races, Flo-Rida, Salt-N-Peppa, Kane Brown, Dwight Yokum, Trace Adkins and Rodney Carrington, among others.

July events include:

  • Clint Black on July 16
  • 3 doors down July 18th
  • Harlem Globetrotters July 21
  • ZZ Top July 25

Balla said that while the COVID-19 pandemic forced a number of cancellations and reschedules, as soon as she could she began hosting concerts and events with limited seating for comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

Balla said in a recent report to the Corbin City Commission that she had informed commissioners that as of January 1, even with limited seating, the Arena has hosted 19 events, filling 28 days.

These events sold 33,764 tickets. An additional 10,000 people attended rental events at the facility.

“Over 80% of our ticket buyers come from outside the region,” Balla said, noting that customers have come from 14 different states to attend events.

“I’ve spoken to people who said they came from Chicago to attend an event in Corbin because they really wanted to see a show,” Balla said.

“You wouldn’t believe the awareness,” Balla said of the distance people walk.

During the remainder of the year, The Arena is expected to host 25 events.

Balla said that within four weeks of the latest round of announcements including: ZZ Top, Foreigner, 3 Doors Down and Jeff Foxworthy, The Arena Box Office has sold over 9,000 tickets for gross revenue of nearly $ 600,000 .

Balla said that the year before he arrived, The Arena had hosted 13 events.

“They were mostly local,” Balla said.

“For 2021, we have 45 events on the calendar, and we’ll likely hit around $ 3 million in gross ticket sales,” Balla said.

“We are where I want to be and we have a really bright future,” Balla said. “It’s just going to get better and better.”


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