Bad news for the dozens of people who were surely looking forward to helping the World Arena celebrate its 10th birthday next week: There will be no such celebration at least not in the original incarnation. As recently as the middle of last week, the World Arena was ready to par-tay. On its event calendar, it listed Jan. 10, 2008, as its "Birthday Bash." The event was meant to celebrate 10 years of the sports/concert/family-event venue. And to help ring in the awkward tween-age years, the venue's booking agents secured a lineup of country acts including Sawyer Brown, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Chris Young, Rissi Palmer and hey, look! sixth-place American Idol runner-up Phil Stacey!
But, for undisclosed reasons, the little-publicized birthday event is now off. Well, sorta.
Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say the event's been changed. The all-country lineup: still coming to town. Now, though, everyone will be playing the much smaller Pikes Peak Center. And the title "Birthday Bash" has been changed, too. It's now the "Winter Bash" because, well, who doesn't like sore throats and frozen toes?
World Arena general manager Dot Lischick downplays the change in venue and title. She's booked shows at the World Arena since before it opened on Jan. 17, 1998, and seems to have no trouble taking a longer view.
"We'll be 10 all year," Lischick says (and reiterates a couple of times). "You'll see us come out with different things this year to highlight that we're 10."
There could be another concert, she says. Or maybe a private dinner for the World Arena's more generous supporters. Lischick isn't sure yet.
But the ticket-buying public will definitely be rewarded for sticking with and supporting the venue, Lischick says. For one, the World Arena's Ice Hall just got a new lobby. And, Lischick says (with surprising enthusiasm), it's very possible there could be some changes to the World Arena's concession stands in the near future. Maybe some remodeling? Maybe new vendors?
All very, very exciting stuff. And though none of these vending changes are set in stone, that doesn't mean they'll atrophy, la the "Birthday Bash." Lischick and Co. are likely too proud to let that happen.
"When we sit down and retrospect on it, and look at all the things we've accomplished," Lischick says, "it's like, "Wow.'"
Winter Bash with Sawyer Brown, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Rissi Palmer, Chris Young and Phil Stacey
Pikes Peak Center, 190 S. Cascade Ave.
Thursday, Jan. 10, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $22, all ages; visit ticketswest.com.
I miss you, Lenny! My family and I thank you for all the special times…
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