The appearance of the Rolling Stones Tuesday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium will be the first concert in the 102-year-old venue since 1994. It may also be the start of a regular occurrence.
“We hope that this is the beginning of something that we see each year moving ahead,” Tech deputy athletic director Brett Daniels said in a story on the Tech website.
The Stones concert is expected to bring in at least $250,000, not small change for an athletic department that aims to break even each fiscal year and this year will take on the additional expense of cost-of-attendance stipends, expected to be a $500,000 item on the budget.
“I think from a financial standpoint, it’ll work,” former Tech senior associate athletic director Ryan Bamford said prior to his departure to take the AD job at Massachusetts. “It’s just a matter of, Can the stadium withstand it and then, Does it fit within a timeline that Georgia Tech’s happy with?”
The window opens with the end of classes and closes early enough in the summer that the stadium field can be re-sodded in advance of preseason practice if it is damaged during a concert. It had been a project of Bamford’s in recent years, and he helped the school nearly bring in a show last year that would have arguably surpassed the Rolling Stones.
The school was close to signing a deal with Bruce Springsteen and the Dave Matthews Band in a two-day festival over Memorial Day 2014.
“Dave Matthews ended up playing in Atlanta that weekend on a Saturday night (at Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood), but they signed up and said, ‘If Bruce signs up on Saturday, we’ll play your deal on Sunday,’” Bamford said.
Springsteen was apparently willing, but late in the process re-routed his tour and instead came through Atlanta (also at Lakewood) in April.
“I think it could have been pretty remarkable,” Bamford said. “But, like scheduling football games, until you get those things signed, sealed and delivered, they don’t always come to fruition.”
Regardless, he was hopeful for the Rolling Stones show, and more to follow.
“I don’t know if they’ll do one every year, but I think there’ll be opportunities, because I think our staff is going to knock it out of the park on this one,” Bamford said. “I think they’re really going to present a great show.”
For more information on attending the concert, check this comprehensive page put together on the Tech website.
It’s a bit on the late side, but I spoke at length with Bamford prior to his departure about his four years at Tech. There’s some good stuff that is likely of interest to you. I’ll put it up Tuesday.