Attracting bigger acts would help bring business to downtown


Bakersfield city leaders are hoping to attract big names and popular acts in the coming year to help give downtown a financial boost.  A new contract with entertainment giant, AEG has given Rabobank Arena an increase in sales.

Rabobank just finished its first year of management with AEG giving the community more than 80 events, thousands of attendees and plenty of reasons to attract more shows and possibly bigger names. Carrie Underwood, Vince Gill, and even those monster trucks have given people a reason to want more.

"I would want to see more kid friendly and family, friendly events," said Patricia Castro of Bakersfield.

"I don't know, more concerts, more art," said Joshua Lopez of Bakersfield.

"I like Indy, Reggae, something softer," said Kylee Knight of Bakersfield.

"Not hip hop, something more for the older crowd," said Mike Guerra of Bakersfield.

"Red Hot Chili Peppers would be really cool to see," said Jordan Cooke of Bakersfield.

Over the last year, Rabobank Arena has seen much success with Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice and even comedian, Gabriel Iglesias selling out.  All despite costing the city more than $360,000.

"Our job is to put butts in seats in the arena and the theater, as well as the other facilities we have, that's what we are there for, to promote events, to program those facilities," said Jon Dorman, general manager of Rabobank.

Next fiscal year, which starts next month the venue is expected to cost the city even more.  An estimated amount of a little over $400,000.

"When you start doing the math to get a $1.2 or $1.3 million dollar guarantee for a big name entertainer, now you’re talking about average ticket price of north of $150 to $200 tickets and that's a lot for any community," said Dorman.

"Would you pay $150 to 200 to see an act? Yeah, I would if it’s worth it, yeah I would. If the vibe is there and it’s really energetic,” said Adriana Ramirez of Bakersfield.

"Yeah, if it's a good band I would. Yeah. Any kind of today's music band actually. I like listening to all kinds of music," said Brandon Wenino of Bakersfield.

Under AEG Rabobank has increased its sponsorship and say any big A-list artist coming into town would have an enormous economic impact.

“Where ever these people come and stay, they spend money and those dollars keep people employed, those dollars pay taxes and those dollars keep the economy humming,” said David Lyman, manager of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Rabobank leaders are working to bring the city a big name performer next year.  Not clear which artist, or event that may be but they do promise the act will be a very familiar one.


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