Valley View Casino Enters The Live Music Scene
April 2008

Valley View Casino will enter into the San Diego live music scene in a big way when its new outdoor concerts debut on April 11.

The concerts will be held outside where valet parking is currently located. According to Ric Militi, vice president of marketing for the casino, "The ball is rolling. We will start the concert series April 11, with Creedence Clearwater Revisited." This, unlike what you might initially suppose, is not a "tribute" band, it is rather the original Creedence band, but without John Fogerty, who is now touring on his own.

"This is the core of the band," explains Militi. Ticket sales have been very brisk since they began Friday, Feb. 29. Valley View knows that it is entering a highly competitive market. Other casinos have concerts, so Valley View is pushing an aggressive advertising campaign.

"We've actually been very successful in our advertising and publicity campaign," says Militi. "We don't like to do anything halfway. We're going full out. We want it to be the most exciting concert venue and have the best acts."

To accomplish this they partnered with AEG Live, the nation's second largest concert promotion and touring company. "We felt they were the most high profile and powerful talent booking company in the country. When they became available locally we contacted them and in 48 hours had a deal with them," says Militi. AEG also books Humphreys on the Bay concerts and the San Diego Arena.

Militi likes upbeat, relevant acts. "I don't want downbeat slow music. People come here for fun and excitement and translate that into the venue. I want it to be fun and exciting and full of energy." When he was studying the way other casinos do their concerts, Militi found out that many of them take up the best seats for their casino guests and that doesn't leave any great seats for the general public to buy.

"We are not going to do that," he says. "We implemented a strategy to disperse the tickets randomly. You can buy seats from the front to the back. I want people to want to come to our venue and to know that they can buy the best seats for their artists." They will, naturally, reserve some blocks for their loyal players, but they won't flood the first few rows with them to the exception of the public.

He adds, "We're going to do some fun stuff during the shows. We're looking at having an area where we pick one seat and move those people up to a better area to sit in. And for every ticket that a person buys, at the end of the show, they can get $5 of free slot play at the casino."

The concert will seat between 1,500 and 3,000 people, depending on the show. Seating will be on the same level but staggered, so everyone will be able to see the stage. The stage and the lighting will stay up in between shows. The seats will be very comfortable, Militi months trying seats.

Don't expect to see any children's shows. Valley View will enforce the 21-year old rule that is in force for the entire facility. "We are sticking to our social commitment that we don't allow children into any part of the casino. That will make it a little more relaxing and comfortable for the adults," he says.

Retooling of the valet parking lot to accommodate the new concert venue begins very soon. That was always part of the plan. It was not an afterthought. In anticipation of that ultimate use, electrical conduit was laid when the casino was first being built. "We were waiting for the right opportunity to enter the market, and it came with AEG," says Militi.

The schedule of acts that will be playing is shown below, but Valley View is looking at bringing in some new acts that have never played in casinos before but which are very high profile acts.

Watch for them!
Creedence Clearwater Revisited–Friday, April 11
Duran Duran–Thursday, May 8 Just Added!
Trace Adkins—Thursday, May 15
Bonnie Raitt–Saturday, May 17
Chris Isaak—Tuesday, July 15
Styx–Thursday, July 17
The Temptations & The Four Tops–Sunday, Aug. 3
Gipsy Kings–Thursday, Aug. 14
Bill Cosby–Friday, Sept. 5
REO Speedwagon–Thursday, Oct. 2
Randy Travis–Wednesday, Oct. 15
More acts will be announced later.

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