Arena Events: What Would You Do? [POLL]

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There’s been some criticism in the community lately, that they’re not putting enough stuff in the arena.  It’s the most expensive minor-league hockey arena in the world, and the key to the redevelopment of downtown Allentown (well, that and the tax scheme, but I digress).  And, most nights it sits empty.  Whatever will we do?

Well, around here we’re not about going negative if we can help it, so let’s put our heads together and try to think of the best events to fill the arena.  Remember, it doesn’t do any good to have events there with no people, so we have to think of which things we want–and which things our community will support, as well.

Before we get to the poll–the excuses.  I do buy that it was difficult to book events before the arena was done and before the schedules were set for the first season of hockey.  It was also necessary to do a remodel on the concourse floor this past year (which looks great, I might add) that could have kept events away.  Finally, I’ve heard [editor’s note:  what follows is pure speculation]  that the loading dock area is very difficult to use and is discouraging acts from booking–and possibly the reason the Rascal Flats had to cancel.

If you have other ideas, or comments, please add them in the comments section below.  New readers will have their comments approved forthwith.

See you at the arena,


Categories: Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, PPL Center Arena

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7 replies

  1. Hard to say what kind of building individual acts need… Shania had to have brought a considerable cargo. Meanwhile, the same day you posted this, they just announced arenacross, which from what little I’ve read, has its own tricky set of logistics.

    • Yeah, the arena-cross was kinda my impetus to make this post–despite the fact that some kind of Poll Daddy problem is preventing the poll from posting. Nevertheless, it is kinda tight back there behind the arena via the Linden Street entrance–I can see that certain things may be difficult to do.

  2. Even though my stupid poll still won’t post: also announced today was an exhibition for the National Lacrosse League featuring the New England Black Wolves–who are the former Philly Wings! The game is a pre-season exhibition on December 19 in advance of their season which starts January 1.

    Tickets seem kinda pricey staring at $17 and going up from there. Plus fees, of course. If I were part of the tickets staff for the PPL Center, I’d be contacting every single youth LAX club in the Lehigh Valley and beyond to put together groups. Those LAX groups are crazy, and will often travel all over for tournaments and so on–surely they would come to Allentown for a professional exhibition. In addition, you could probably sell them on pre-game and intermission field time if you’re creative. Get on it! Oh, and how about a nice discount code for Phantoms Season Ticket Holders. That might pump up sales as well.

  3. I’d say college hockey but it is rather unlikely Penn State will ever want to play at the PPL Center. Aside from its own Pegula Ice Arena, the Nittany Lions are quite happy to visit (and fill up) the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia (capacity for 19,540 for hockey) once a year. Plus, Penn State participates in the annual Christmas tournament at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh so their desire to appear in Allentown is non-existant.

    It is interesting to note that Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall (which seats 10,500 for hockey) hosted the annual Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference men’s tournament from 2011 through 2013.

    • Your point about the major college hockey is well taken. It’s the same reason we’ll never see a hockey game at Coca Cola Park and the same reason the Phillies will probably never visit again: they can do those things in bigger places and earn more money.

      However, the thought of bringing a hockey tournament–or some other college tournament, although I’d prefer hockey to one of the lesser basketball divisions or wrestling or whatnot–is quite appealing.

  4. Since this post was first conceived as moto-cross was announced, a lacrosse exhibition featuring the former Philly Wings and an additional concert–Def Leppard, Styx, Tesla–have been announced.

    Royal Horses are coming later this month, an Avatar-type show in December, WWE and comedian Kevin Hart in December, indoor auto racing in January, the Globetrotters and Disney on Ice both return in March, and Monster trucks return in April. I mentioned about the floor repairs, but the always-tardy AHL schedule could have inhibited some bookings as well while we waited for the hockey games to be scheduled.

    I didn’t go into a lot of detail in the post part of this poll, but the whole point of filling up the arena should be obvious–and it’s not about the price of the arena or any kind of tax or political thing. The point is to bring folks downtown on more nights per year so that the event-day employees of the building will have more regular work and so that those who have invested in downtown entertainment and nightlife (ie the restaurants and shops) will have more traffic and customer exposure. Downtown on non-event nights is still pretty desolate. It’s improving, but to do well it still needs the bump from the arena events.

    The advantage for hockey fans is that the arena staff and the downtown restaurants and shops will be more prepared for the crowds and busy-ness of “hockey night”–which will cause the service to be better and the lines shorter.

    See you at the arena….

  5. My opposition to the government financed Pawlowski Palace of Sport was and remains well documented so there is no need to go into any of that.

    Now that the phenomenally expensive rink is a reality and given that I do enjoy the sport of ice hockey very much, there really is nothing left for me to do but enjoy as much quality professional hockey as I can.

    I live, work and recreate in the City of Allentown. There is absolutely no question about the fact that downtown is desolate on non-event nights despite The Morning Call’s continuous lies about a “bustling” downtown. Don’t take my word for it — go to the Brewworks or any place else on a Monday or Tuesday (I patronize the Brewworks all the time because I dig the Half Price Hamburger and Three Dollars For Three Tacos specials) and see for yourself.

    I am prepared to support a more thriving downtown (a real one, not some propaganda fairy tale told by people whose job it is to sell more newspapers) if only because I happen to know plenty of people who happen to work at many of these different establishments downtown. If these places don’t succeed, sooner or later people I know will lose their jobs (because their employers will have gone out of business). I still don’t support all this Big Government Spending and I can’t help but chuckle over reports of FBI investigations — and, then again, I’m never gonna be ready to see people I know be out of work, either.

    So, yeah, the bottom line these days is that an empty PPL Center and a deserted downtown don’t really do anybody any good whatsoever.

    Does it?

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