United Spirit Arena Continues To Book Big Names

The United Spirit Arena, celebrating 15 years later in 2014, says they work everyday to try to book big names for Lubbock.
By Monica Yantosh

LUBBOCK, TX -- The United Spirit Arena will celebrate 15 years in the fall of 2014, and they said they are still working to try to bring big names to the Hub City.

"It's hard to believe it's been almost 15 years, but we've been very fortunate," Cindy Harper, Associate Director of the USA said.

One band they worked on for a while to book, she said, was Bon Jovi, who stopped in Lubbock in March 2013. "As was the case with Bon Jovi, unfortunately we were told, on several occasions, our venue was just too small, the production just wouldn't fit in, but finally, it did, so we don't give up, because Bon Jovi did pan out and it was an incredible show," Harper said.

Often, Harper notes that it's things out of their control that keep artists from town. "Sometimes we work directly with the agents that represent the artists, but we also work with the promoters, and the promoters are the ones putting in the bids to the agents for the shows," Harper said. "So there may be multiple promoters saying, 'Hey, you should play here, or you should play there'. So it just kind of depends on what offers they accept and where they decide to go across the country."

She does think where Lubbock lands on the map often helps pull in some of the artists. "I like to think we're in a great location being in the panhandle, if you're trying to route a show from Dallas to Arizona, or what have you, we're a great stop, I think, along the way," she said.

Among the list of artists that have come to the Hub City in the last 14 years are Elton John, James Taylor, The Eagles, George Strait, and Kenny Chesney.

Then, in 2011, they booked Taylor Swift, something Harper said may have had to do with other artists that played in Lubbock in the past.

"When we secured Taylor Swift in 2011, I think the way we were able to secure that is because it was the same promoter as George Straight, and Kenny Chesney, and they did so well, and sold out so quickly, that they finally decided, ok, yes, we'll bring Taylor Swift, and that was one we had been working on for years and years and years," Harper said.

While Harper said they are constantly working for future concerts, she said she could in no way give hints to what other artists to be on the look out for, though she said she's excited about some plans.

"Working on a variety of acts, that I'm crossing my fingers they pan out," Harper said. "I'm really excited about them, I wish I could give a clue what we're working on but some some things that are different than some shows that we've had come through before."

The next big show is Luke Bryan on January 30th, and they are expecting a full house for that show. He will be their 100th specialty entertainment act at the USA.

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