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Gun$ N’ Ro$e$ Brings Money and Music to the Triad

(Last Updated On: August 9, 2017)

If you want to do the financial math for the Friday, Aug. 11 Guns N’ Roses concert at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem, you better have a lot of ink in your pen or a sharp pencil ready. A calculator with a strong battery is also advised.

But before we get to break it down, let’s start from the beginning and explain how this rock n’ roll concert-extravaganza was first brought to public light.

On Dec. 5, 2016 a press conference took place at Wake Forest University and Coliseum managing director Matt Brown announced that the band Guns N’ Roses would perform.

Under its 2013, five-year agreement with Wake Forest, the Greensboro Coliseum has been managing all non-sporting events at the university venues, including Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. This is the first event that the Greensboro Coliseum has booked at BB&T Field with the last concerts at the taking place more than 26 years ago. During the summer of 1990, the formerly named Groves Stadium welcomed New Kids on the Block and Jimmy Buffett.

Greensboro Coliseum deputy director Scott Johnson discussed the magnitude of an event he called “game-changing” for the Triad.

“This show is going to be a mega-economic impact event for the Triad,” Johnson said. “We had roughly 35,000 total tickets to sell and we are heading to that number. Fans are buying tickets from all over the country with over 60-70 percent coming from outside the Triad and some as far away as the west coast. This is exciting as it means hotel rooms are booked and restaurants and bars will be filling up with new customers.”

There are a reported 35,000 available tickets and according to coliseum public relations manager Andrew Brown. When tickets originally went on sale they ranged from $35 to $250. These figures do not include the VIP PIT tickets and other VIP packages where prices range from over $500 up to and in excess of $1,250 per. The few tickets still remaining on Ticketmaster as of Tuesday range in price from $102 to $502 without fees.

If you set an average estimated* ticket price of $170 and multiply it by the 35,000 available.

Total Ticket Revenue – $5,950,000

The other possible *estimated revenue generators include;

1)     Parking – $20 per car. If 25 percent of the people drive everyone, that’s 8750 cars @ $20 = $175,000

2)     Beer – $10-$12. If 25 percent of the people drink 2 beers.  8,750 x 2 beers x $11 avg. per = $192,500

3)     Soft Drinks – $7.  If 50 percent of the people drink 1 soft drink. 17,500 x 7 = $122,500

4)     Food – $12. If 40 percent of the people eat one or two items. 14,000 x $12 = $168,000


* = Revenue numbers provided are estimated amount.

If 60 percent of the ticket buyers are from outside area (21,000 visitors coming to the Triad), it’s conservative to say that 20 percent will get a hotel room. That figure is 4,200 people with an average of three to a room means 1,400 potential rooms booked.

In an email response,director of marketing and communications for Visit Winston-Salem Marcheta Keefer stated, “Our tourism economic impact calculator measures the “return” and “potential” for sporting events/tournaments, annual multi-day festivals, meetings and conventions – concerts are not included. As you know, Guns N’ Roses has a strong, loyal fan following and Winston-Salem is certainly benefitting by being one of their tour stops; it’s generating cool social media buzz for Winston-Salem, the concert venue and introducing new visitors to our vibrant downtown and hotel offerings. Our hoteliers near the LJVM Coliseum and in downtown have reported strong bookings by concert-goers.”

Additional major economic impact figures, including state and county tax revenues for all onsite sales, are sure to be tremendous as they include, but are not limited to, hotel rooms booked, food and drinks in local restaurants, shopping in local businesses, limos rented, gas bought for trip, flights coming into Greensboro and more.

“Besides the hotels and restaurant and shopping, you also have to looked at all the temporary and unique jobs this has created,” Johnson said. “The 150 for stage load-in and set up before the concert, 200 for loading out and tearing down after the show, the 1,000 that will be working day of in the parking lot, security, ushers, ticket people and more. These are the kinds of events that put the Triad on the map.”

“We told Wake Forest our long-term goal was to do mega-events like this and with the tremendous success this is clearly looking to be, we want to do something major like this every year at the stadium,” Johnson said. “We all see the huge economic benefits that something like this has on the Triad.”

The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. and the gates open at 2 p.m. for parking. Tailgating in the parking lot is allowed and, according to Johnson, beer and wine is OK to consume while tailgating, but spirits are prohibited. Guns N’ Roses has accumulating sales of more than 100 million records worldwide and released six studio albums, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time.