Big Acts Bring Big Money to the Area - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Big Acts Bring Big Money to the Area

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Eric Church rocks out at the Roanoke Civic Center, drawing an almost sold-out crowd. Jennifer Matney drove from Tazwell County for the show.

"I am a huge Eric Church fan," Matney says. "This makes my fourth concert. We have been all the way to Charlotte to see him and we are just excited he is close to home."

It joins the ranks of the many big concerts at the Roanoke Civic Center. General manager Robyn Schon says it has been a great year.

"We found people in the Roanoke Valley and around the area love a good show and don't have to travel far distance to get to our good show, and as long as we are able to attract them we are getting them here," Schon says.

Seven out of 12 concerts were sold out, including Elton John. The civic center came in $180,000 under budget, bringing the money the city contributes down to less than $500,000. Four years ago it was $1.2 million. Schon credits the success to the stellar line up this year.

"Revenue-wise from events, it is just exponential and it is just going, to keep getting better," Schon says. "Our goal has been zero; it is not realistic, but we are aiming for it."

People in Roanoke are not the only ones contributing to the success of the civic center. Shows like Eric Church draw people from as far as Tennessee and North Carolina. Nicole Huffman and her sister drove from Beckley, W.Va.

"He has come to Bluefield before, but you can never see Eric Church too much,' Huffman says.

With so many great acts, these almost sold-out crowds hope the good times keep on rolling next year.