Tag Archives: RodeoHouston

2011 Houston Livestock Show Rolls Out Its Booking and Pricing Strategy

8 Nov

Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley will take the spot that the retired Brooks & Dunn have held for 20 years at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo as the musical act who performs on the last Saturday of the event during the final Rodeo BP Super Series.

Four acts for the March 1-20 event were announced Oct. 27. In addition to alumni Paisley, Sugarland and Selena Gomez will return to perform in Reliant Stadium, while the Zac Brown Band will make its debut at the venue.

“We’re really pleased that Brad Paisley is stepping into that spot,” said Leroy Shafer, COO of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. “I’m sure he’ll be in that spot for many years to come.”

Marketing employees perform extensive surveys of exiting concert-goers as well as phone research to ask fans which acts they liked and which they did not. In 2010, hands down, “The most requested one where people said ‘Bring this entertainer back’ is Brad Paisley,” Shafer said.

RodeoHouston officials put a great deal of stock into what returning fans want via the surveys that are conducted both during and after the concerts. “Sixty-eight percent of our ticket holders bought season tickets,” Shafer said. “Since they buy 68 percent of the tickets, we put 68 percent of the research result emphases on what they have to say.”

Twenty acts in all will play RodeoHouston. Tickets already were selling prior to the announcement and officials expected a bump with the news of the four entertainers.

Fans either can buy season tickets, which start at $336 or, as of Oct. 28, they could begin buying from two sets of “mini-season tickets” for 10 acts.

Sugarland, who will play March 3, and Paisley, whose concert is March 19, are in the Option A package; while Gomez, who appears March 6, and the Zac Brown Band, scheduled for March 17, are in the Option B package.

The Option A package can be purchased for $189 or $154 depending on seating, and the Option B package can be purchased for $189 or $146. Ticket prices have gone up slightly over last year, Shafer said.

“The lowest increase would be the loge and upper level, which accounts for 50 percent of the seats,” Shafer said. “They went up $2. Our field seats, which account for most of the season tickets, are up $5. On average, they went up from $20 to $25 or from $21 to $26.

“When you put it all together, we had a ticket price increase of around 18 percent when you go across the board with every ticket.”

The biggest price increases were in the suite and club levels, Shafer said, some of which went up as much as $15. In those areas, the average ticket price went up from $24.50 to $29.80.

The 2010 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo experienced a record year, with attendance of 2,141,077 topping 2 million for the first time. Forty percent of those attendees bought grounds tickets only and 60 percent also bought rodeo and concert tickets, Shafer said.

Setting a new record for RodeoHouston concerts in the 70,000-plus-seat Reliant Stadium during that event were the Go Tejano Day acts of Pesado and El Trono De Mexico, which drew 74,222, slightly above the previous year’s Go Tejano Day attendance of 74,147.

Already this year, the four announced acts have helped spur ticket sales, Shafer said. “Selena Gomez seems to be a big draw, along with RodeoHouston hot newcomers, the Zac Brown Band. Brad Paisley is always a Houston favorite, and Sugarland is bringing lots of new fans to country music,” Shafer added.

The next slate of entertainers will be announced around Dec. 10 for RodeoHouston’s Value Day concerts, which will take place March 16 in the Option A package and March 2 and 9 in the Option B package.

“We will announce those three stars by the middle of December, so then people will know who seven of the 20 are,” Shafer said.

Concertgoers renewing season tickets for the same seats had to make their final commitments prior to these announcements, giving a deposit on July 1 and final payment by Sept. 15, Shafer said.

The remainder of the acts will be announced sometime between Jan. 10 and 15, Shafer said. “I think the four announced acts will be pretty indicative of what you will see.” – Mary Wade Burnside

Interviewed for this article: Leroy Shafer, (832) 667-1000.