In early September, the Lexington Legends (Low A; Sally League) will host Red, White and Boom, one of the more active concerts in the minors.
Starting on September 2, this three-day festival will take place at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. As we highlighted earlier this year, Red, White and Boom is part of a busy summer lineup of concerts at ballparks and it is certainly one of the bigger events. Among the acts scheduled to perform this year include Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, and more.
With its major acts and its timing–it will start days after the Legends’ final home game–Red, White and Boom has a formula for bringing people to the ballpark. However, that has not always been the case, as the event was met with relatively low attendance in its early years. After the initial years, the event grew.
Growth of Red, White and Boom has continued, with just over 9,000 in attendance in 2011, 11,000 in 2012 and 13,000 in 2013. The 2014 two-day event brought a jump to 24,154, and last year’s RWB, also two days, drew 22,419 despite bad weather on the opening night.
In its 16-year history, the ballpark has been the site of concerts by Hank Williams Jr., Maroon 5, Randy Travis and others, but the Red, White and Boom series has brought attention from around the nation, especially from within minor league baseball. In 2014, the Legends were honored for Red, White and Boom by Minor League Baseball with an award for best non-gameday promotion.
This year’s RWB lineup features Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Thomas Rhett, Florida-Georgia Line, Cole Swindell and Kacey Musgraves. Granger Smith, Cam, Jon Pardi, Maren Morris, Jordan Rager and Canaan Smith are on the lineup as well. General admission tickets for the entire three-day event are $179 each, and single day general admission tickets are available for $64.50 each.
“As far we can determine, this is the biggest event of its kind ever held at a minor league ballpark,” said Legends president/CEO Andy Shea. “With this lineup, the prices reflect the entertainment value of the event.”
It’s a return trip for Aldean, who along with Miranda Lambert, drew more than 10,000 for a concert in September 2009, the largest crowd in the history of the facility at that time. “Having been here before, Jason Aldean is well aware of the reputation of our ballpark as a concert venue, and we’re excited to have him back,” Shea said.
“Andy Shea and his staff have made Whitaker Bank Ballpark a concert destination that is the envy of Minor League Baseball,” said Chuck Domino, a veteran of more than 35 years in professional baseball, a former Minor League Baseball Executive of the Year (2002) and a consultant who works with the Legends and several other minor league teams. “There has been no other minor league team that has felt comfortable enough in their ability to execute something as big as Red, White and Boom. Over the past couple of years the Legends have added some subtle and not- so-subtle elements to Whitaker Bank Ballpark that will only make it an even better venue for future concerts.
“Lexington has something special with Whitaker Bank Ballpark, and the Legends’ aggressiveness in making it a concert destination should not be taken for granted,” Domino added. “It’s special.”
Image courtesy of the Lexington Legends.