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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane makes the biggest leap of any city in America for live events in 2023

Spokane is climbing the entertainment industry charts.

According to Pollstar, the trade publication for the concert and live music industry, Spokane had the biggest jump of any market in the country for live events from 2022 to 2023, moving up 29 slots from 102nd to 73rd in the U.S .

The only other market to make more than a 20-position jump was Birmingham, Alabama.

“We couldn’t be more pleased by all of this,” Spokane Arena Director of Entertainment Matt Meyer said.

The jump is the result of when shows were reported last year.

“Everything is turned in by Thanksgiving, but we had some big shows in December (of ’22),” Meyer said. “We had Snoop Dogg, Five Finger Death Punch, Brantley Gilbert and the Monster Jam. Those totals were added later.”

So the 2022 show count rose to 157, and the actual gross for the year was $34 million. The 2023 gross was $36 million. That’s a 5% increase in grosses in 2023.

“That is a huge increase,” Meyer said. “2023 was the biggest so far for us.”

The banner year was fueled by a couple of huge concerts. None was bigger than Shania Twain’s “Queen of Me” tour opener at the Spokane Arena. The April concert in front of 10,784 fans grossed $1.4 million. The Foo Fighters, Chris Stapleton, Adam Sandler, Tool and Journey shows at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena each grossed more than $1 million.

“The Twain concert was huge,” Meyer said. “It was like the Paul McCartney show, since both tours started here. When our city is the first show of the tour, that goes out to the public and the industry. Everyone sees it.

“Then you throw in the Foo Fighters playing the smallest venue of their tour in August, one of two arena shows, here in Spokane. People wondered why the Foo Fighters didn’t play Seattle last year. Now Foo Fighters are playing T-Mobile Park in Seattle (in August), which is much larger than the Spokane Arena.”

Meyer is ecstatic because Spokane scored much of the ink in the Pollstar feature on concert market rankings.

“A third of that article is about Spokane,” Meyer said. “That kind of recognition in the largest industry publication is massive. Everyone in the industry, from managers to venues and beyond, sees what Spokane is accomplishing. It’s a huge tip of the hat.”