Bringing big shows back to New Era Field

Posted at 7:23 PM, Jun 06, 2017

The Irish rock band U2 has added Buffalo to the list of its cities for the group's 2017 Joshua Tree Tour. The group will hold a concert at New Era Field on September 5.

This will mark the fourth major concert at the stadium in the last two years. The Rolling Stones and One Direction performed at the then Ralph Wilson Stadium in 2015. Guns N' Roses are scheduled to play at New Era Field this summer.

But what is bringing these acts to Buffalo? After all, the Bills stadium hadn't held a concert since 2001 before the two 2015 shows.

According to the Bills, a lot has to do with recent renovations to the stadium.

"The stadium used to hold shows all the time back in the day," Bills' VP for Operations and Guest Experience Andy Major said. "It was one of the major concert venues in the country. It got old. In 2014, when we finished our stadium renovations, it really put us back on the map for concerts at outdoor venues."

Della Giammusso is the owner of VIP Seats, a local ticket resale company that offers tickets to events around the world. She says Buffalo's growth in recent years has helped make it possible to attract these major shows.

"Everyone is starting to come back because they're seeing 'wow what a change in Buffalo'," Giammusso explained. "We're not that little, small town anymore. We're becoming pretty big."

That growth, Giammusso says, is turning Buffalo into a major entertainment city. That means people from WNY don't have to travel as far as they used to for big shows.

"It's very exciting because most people had to venture to Cleveland or Toronto or maybe fly to New York City," she said. "It's right here now. It's really exciting."

Now that they've got the ball rolling with a few successful concerts, Major is hoping to keep the momentum going with future shows at New Era Field.

"The promoters started to take notice," he said. " 'Boy, Buffalo might be a great market again for the outdoor shows', and I think that's part of the reason we're seeing a little bit of an uptick here."