Stambaugh Stadium opens possibility of bringing headliners to Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Youngstown is less than two days away from the biggest concert event in its history — something that’s been three years in the making.

You can already feel the buzz around Stambaugh Stadium ahead of the Zac Brown Band concert.

“We’re so excited. We think the community has really responded,” said Eric Ryan, with JAC Live — the management company that brought Zac Brown to Youngstown.

Zac Brown Band will take the stage at 7 p.m. on Thursday but on Tuesday — as soon as football practice wrapped up — crews started transforming the field into that stage.

Eighty crew members swarmed the field at noon — putting down covering, building the stage, and putting together the roof. Ryan said it’s quite a feat.

“It’s certainly interesting in the fact that it’s never been done before here. So from a load-in, load-out standpoint, they’ll be here then they’ll be out of here Friday morning because they have a football game Friday evening here.”

Ryan said the size of the Covelli Centre, which only seats around 6,000, could be a problem. Opening up Stambaugh Stadium changes that.

“We can bring in an entertainer that could not play the Covelli Centre because of the amount of seats that we have and the restraints that that gives us,” he said. “This gives us 18,000 to 20,000 seats that we could make things happen that we otherwise wouldn’t.”

Ryan said because of the stage’s setup, there’s not a bad seat in the house.

“You know, typically in a stadium-style show, your stage is at the end. But the stage…is at the 50-yard line. Really every seat is straight on so if you click online and get that ticket, you’re going to be really happy because the seats are all great.”

So far, there are 15,000 tickets sold for the event and about 1,500 still available.

“Let’s pack this house and show the nation what Youngstown’s all about,” Ryan said.

Tickets are available at the Covelli Centre box office, on ticketmaster.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

“We still have tickets available in every price level,” Ryan said. “So we’re really encouraging everybody to come be a part of this historic event.”

It’s not just making history. He said it’s the start of something that’s going to continue for a long time.

“We definitely want to continue to do this once a year.”

The celebration will start long before the show. Ryan said there will be a pre-party at 2 p.m. inside the tailgate area.

“There will be plenty of room. There will be a DJ, and some beverages for sale, and some food trucks and things like that.”

The pre-party is free and you do not need a tailgate pass to get in.

“You don’t need any ticket to come into this area. Just come in and enjoy yourself,” Ryan said.

The gates for the concert open at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Many parking spots on campus will be reserved for concert-goers on Thursday. There is a $20 fee to park, though it’s free for YSU students and staff.