Beyonce Graces Baltimore With Her Presence

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It takes money to make money, especially if you’re bringing a big name entertainer to town.

That’s a lesson the Maryland Stadium Authority was reminded about this week, as it prepares for a Beyonce concert on Friday night at M & T Bank Stadium.

According to stadium authority executive director Michael Frenz, the concert is expected to have an economic impact on the area of about $6.6 million, based on figures from a 2014 Beyonce/Jay Z concert at M & T Bank Stadium. But first, he said, the agency has been asked to pay $150,000 to help defray the costs of bringing Beyonce to town.

The Baltimore Ravens football team, which leases the stadium from the state agency, is working with Live Nation to hold the concert, which is likely to sell out. Advance ticket sales have been strong, as they were for the Beyonce-Jay  Z concert in 2014. A sold out concert would draw an audience of about 50,000 at a time when the stadium otherwise would be empty.

According to Frenz, the Ravens have asked their landlord, the stadium authority, to contribute $150,000 towards the cost of holding the Beyonce concert.

Frenz explained during a stadium authority meeting this week that the money will be used to reimburse the Ravens for costs associated with holding the event and paying the promoter. Frenz told stadium authority members that the anticipated revenue to the stadium authority from the concert is about $577,000, which is slightly more than the $566,000 in revenues that it received from a Beyonce-Jay Z concert at M & T Bank Stadium in 2014.

According to the stadium authority, the largest single portion of anticipated proceeds to the state from this week’s concert is $404,392 in state admissions tax. That’s up from the $364,956 in admission tax from the 2014 Beyonce-Jay Z concert, which drew 48,428 people. The stadium authority also made a $150,000 payment to the Ravens for that event.

“This is actually a pretty standard procedure with big events at M&T,” said Jan Hardesty, public information officer for the stadium authority (MSA). “The Ravens are the signatory for the event. They take all the risk.  However, MSA reaps the windfall from the admission tax.  Therefore, the Ravens ask that we contribute to their investment…We’ve been making contributions to events held at M&T for many years.”

According to the stadium authority, the 2014 Beyonce/Jay Z concert generated $769,000 in state taxes, created 71 jobs and had an economic impact of $6.6 million. The panel voted unanimously to approve the Ravens’ request for $150,000.

Friday’s concert, part of Beyonce’s “The Formation World Tour,” will be her first show in Baltimore since she performed at the Super Bowl in February and released her latest album, Lemonade.

Ed Gunts

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