Billy Joel concert will boost business

Richard Ryman
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Billy Joel

GREEN BAY - Billy Joel and "Antiques Roadshow" will be worth almost $8 million to Brown County.

Both will be in town on June 17, with "Antiques Roadshow" filming three programs of the PBS hit show during the day and Joel playing at Lambeau Field that night.

It's a perfect time for them to be here because June is a slower month for conventions and tourism, said Brad Toll, president/CEO of the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau. The bureau estimated the concert impact at $6 million and "Antiques Roadshow" at $1.9 million.

"For June, that's phenomenal," Toll said. "A football game brings more people, but a concert works perfectly in June."

A Green Bay Packers home football game is estimated to be worth up to $15 million. The concert will be smaller, with about 45,000 people versus almost 80,000 for football, and attendees will tend to stay one night instead of two. That's where "Antiques Roadshow," which is expected to attract 2,500 overnight visitors out of 3,500 total, adds to the weekend. They will come earlier, on June 16 mostly, and some can be expected to stay for the concert on Saturday, Toll said.

"Any time they have 40, 50, 60,000 people coming to the area, that’s a tremendous day for everybody," said Jerry Watson, owner of Stadium View Bar & Grille in Ashwaubenon, just east of Lambeau Field. "I just wish they would do it more than once a year. Those are all bonuses."

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It will be the third concert at Lambeau Field in six years — Kenny Chesney played in 2011 and 2015 — and the first promoted by the Packers. When Billy Joel grabs the microphone, it will be the third major bonus event at Lambeau Field in 12 months, including the University of Wisconsin-LSU football game over Labor Day weekend and the NFL wild-card playoff game between the Packers and New York Giants on Jan. 8.

Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said they looked at several acts but determined Joel's draw and schedule suited Lambeau Field's needs. The Chesney concerts and the NCAA football game were successful. Joel will be the first noncountry act at Lambeau and if also successful could set the stage for future events.

"We'll see. We'd like to have one major event a year in the bowl," Murphy said.

Toll said the last Chesney concert drew from 23 states. With a larger following, he expects Joel to draw from more states and possibly even other countries.

"The marketing alone for this concert around the country will be very good," he said. "We hope some of these people will be back. They go home and become your best ambassadors."

The demographic is expected to be different than the Chesney concerts. Murphy and Jason Wright, president of promotion company Live Nation Chicago, both stressed that Joel is attractive to multiple generations. The Chesney crowds tended to be younger and rowdier than expectations for the Joel concert.

"I think you’ll see almost every age group. I think you’ll see them from 30 up," Watson said. "We’ll more than likely have our own little private concert here before that concert to get people here. We’ll dig up another artist in that era and bring them in."

The concert will help fund the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District, which will receive one-half of a 10 percent ticket tax. The district will rebate half the tax to the promoter.

Contact and follow him on Twitter @RichRymanPG, onInstagram at rrymanpgor on Facebook at Richard Ryman-Press-Gazette. Or call him at (920) 431-8342.

PBS series "Antiques Roadshow" has announced Green Bay will be one of five cities on its 2017 summer tour.
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