Not all venues are created equal and sometimes a given location just doesn’t match up with a given event. Take the Kansas City Wizards and Arrowhead Stadium.
For the Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead is a perfect fit. However for Major League Soccer it was a bust.
Even on the rare occasions when Wizards’ crowds approached 20,000 – out of more than 80,000 available seats – the place looked like a ghost town.
Which is exactly what promoters don’t want.
Having promoted concerts for several years I can tell you that emerging artists would far rather sell out a smaller venue, rather than pocket a handful more cash and rattle around in a half empty building.
It’s psychology, basically.
I remember taking KC designer Kate Spade‘s sister to a Wizards game at Arrowhead several years back and her being excited to sample the experience. Until she got there and saw the 70,000 or so empty seats and was immediately turned off.
If this was such a hip thing, where was everybody else?
That’s why the Wizards – now Sporting Kansas City – are more than happy consistently selling out a 20,000 venue even though evidence points to the fact that they could probably sell more tickets.
Which brings us to Kanrocksas at the 72,000 capacity Kansas Speedway.
Here’s what one entertainment insider said a week prior to yesterday’s cancellation:
“Kanrocksas problem goes deeper than a poor lineup. It’s almost a damaged brand after that first year. They need to take a lesson from the Sporting KC playbook on ‘rightsizing the arena.’ No one wants to be one of 10, 000 people standing around in a place that holds 70,000. It makes people feel like they were taken.”
Comedy club impresario Craig Glazer had a somewhat harsher take:
“I can’t imagine a worse venue in the city for Kanrocksas,” he says. “They’d have been better off in an empty field. I can’t think of one good thing to say. The seats were terrible, the views were terrible – everything was terrible.”
“I mean, from what I saw, I don’t have one good thing to say about it. Two of my Porsche tires were flattened by the parking lot rocks. If you wanted to get libations or food you had to walk forever. I grade it and ‘F.’ It’s one of the worst places I’ve ever been to.
“NASCAR works because everybody is seated. But I mean, I had VIP seats and I still couldn’t see Eminem.”