As the i wireless Center in Moline prepares to mark 20 years in business at the end of the month, it has racked up the most sold-out concerts in a single year since its first year.
For the fiscal year ending March 31, the eight sold-out shows in the arena and their attendance numbers were:
--Lady Antebellum (April 5, 2012): 10,493 -- Nickelback (April 10, 2012): 10,254 -- Jason Aldean (May 11, 2012): 10,995 -- Zac Brown (Aug. 3, 2012): 10,574 -- Eric Church (Oct. 5, 2012): 10,659 -- Carrie Underwood (Nov. 16, 2012): 10,189 -- Maroon 5 (March 1, 2013): 10,864 -- Luke Bryan (March 2, 2013): 10,779
Seating capacities are dictated by the size of the production, so that's why the total attendance number varies, i wireless Center Executive Director Scott Mullen said Monday. The i wi also had near sellouts with Rascal Flatts, Journey and Green Day, he noted.
"I would attribute this year's concert success to the surge in popularity of country music," Mr. Mullen said. "Country acts have done a great job of keeping their artist guarantees at a reasonable level, which allows promoters to offer tickets at reasonable prices.
"Country acts also tour more extensively than other genres of music -- playing more dates," he said. "We have worked very hard at the manager and agent level in terms of networking and building relationships to get all types of shows to play the Quad-Cities."
The best year for sellouts at the former Mark of the Quad Cities was 1993-94, when the arena opened May 28-29 with two sold-out Neil Diamond concerts. Being "starved for entertainment," Mr. Mullen said, Quad-Cities fans flocked to the then-new arena in droves.
For the 10-month year ending March 31, 1994, The Mark hosted 13 sellout shows, including Billy Ray Cyrus, Dwight Yoakum, the Beach Boys,Kenny G,Bette Midler, Michael Bolton, Aerosmith,Reba McEntire,Tim McGraw, Rod Stewart and Frank Sinatra.
The good year just past helped the i wi reach its most profitable bottom line since 2008-09, when it posted a surplus of just more than $1 million. In 2012-13, it ended with an unaudited profit of$910,956. The audited annual report will be presented to the Illinois Quad City Civic Center Authority board at its June meeting.
Today is Wednesday, Dec. 11, the 345th day of 2013. There are 20 days left in the year. 1863 — 150 years ago: The message of Abraham Lincoln, read in congress yesterday, is published in full in our paper today, with a new proclamation relating the terms upon which states can return to the union. 1888 — 125 years ago: An appropriation has been made by congress for the improvement of the upper Mississippi River with $200,000 set aside for the portion of the river between Keokuk and the mouth of the Illinois River. 1913 — 100 years ago: Work of remodeling First Swedish Lutheran Church at 4th Avenue and 14th Street was nearly completed. 1938 — 75 years ago: An unexplained outbreak of tularemia (rabbit fever) in the state has Illinois public health officials puzzled. Ten persons have died, and 243 are officially reported ill with the infection. 1963 — 50 years ago: A dramatic, multi-million dollar riverfront improvement project for the downtown area of Rock Island was unveiled at a meeting of 200 civic leaders at noon today. 1988 — 25 years ago: For several supporters of the Dispatch Goodfellow/Argus Santa program their donation is a year long project. Emma Pugh and Anne Persinger spent a good part of their spare time this year knitting forty pairs of mittens and slippers.