BRANDON, MS (WLBT) - Exceeding expectations. That’s how Mayor Butch Lee describes the Brandon Amphitheater.
It’s now just over a year old and, according to Pollstar Magazine, it has already broken into the Top-20 when it comes to worldwide ticket sales.
“It caught everyone off guard,” admitted Mayor Butch Lee.
Since the inaugural concert last year, Lee said more than 70-thousand people have gone to events there.
Just how well is it doing? Consider this: the note on the complex is almost $700,000 a year. With the 2% restaurant tax raking in more than $1,000,000, that note is paid, this year, with almost $500,000 dollars left over.
“Debt services is handled way beyond what we need to handle it and our operational fund that operates this thing actually came in over 700-thousand-dollars to the good, which is a good thing, and we’ll take the majority of that money and reinvest it into properties," said Lee
"We build other things like bike trails and running trails and dog parks and things like that in this 250 acre park,” he continued.
The facility’s central location is snagging visitors not only from Mississippi, but the Brandon mayor says 30% of the traffic is from outside the Magnolia State.
“It’s when MDA understood it was something bigger than Brandon. It was something bigger than Rankin County. Something bigger than the tri-county area. It’s a central Mississippi thing.”
Mayor Lee says the 14-million dollar complex’s success is attracting representatives from other states to come visit and see how they can do something similar in their community.
“For us, that paradigm moment in time came when we discovered in June last year, that we were number 19th in the world in outdoor venue ticket sales. And they’re like, ‘Do what? Brandon, Mississippi? Aww, come on.’”
Asked if there are any major surprise acts coming, Mayor Lee would only say this:
“Brandon Amphitheater dot com, Brandon Amphitheater dot com, Brandon Amphitheater dot com.”