BILLINGS – Thousands of people are expected to travel from across Yellowstone County on Tuesday, for one of the biggest concerts at MetraPark this year to watch country music singer Luke Combs.
But with the increase in COVID-19 cases, MetraPark officials, working with security protocols and working with music promoters, are making some adjustments this week to deal with the influx of guests.
General manager Bill Dutcher said they plan to not only host the 14 Combs semi-trucks carrying concert gear, but more than 10,000 spectators when the lights go out on Tuesday night.
“It’s a big deal,” Dutcher said. “When you talk about it, we’ll have standards like Garth Brooks. It will be the biggest show since Garth Brooks.
So what is changing? Dutcher mostly says a few things to get people into the room faster, so that the crowds don’t congregate.
First, the hall will open 90 minutes earlier than the usual time one hour before the start of the show. It’s about helping people get in and find their place in a timely manner.
Additionally, staff add additional entry doors by reversing exit-only doors and rerouting upstairs guests.
“In this particular show, the stage will be in the middle. So the whole arena will be surrounded, so we can let people in with floor tickets, they can line up at our southwest gates, ”said Dutcher.
In addition, there is an express line with no extra bag and the first sales of goods outside will be outside, again with the aim of getting people in quickly and not letting crowds form. .
“We have a lot of signage, telling people that there will be areas where you can enter the building directly, we have 30 scanners, that will be the maximum we have ever had to scan your tickets”, a- he declared. noted.
As for those who go to the concert, they are ready.
Just ask Billings’ Drew Keierleber who says he’s been waiting for this gig for over a year after the pandemic forced the show to cancel all tour dates.
“Yes, it has been a long process,” he said. “I bought tickets for him in 2020 but with COVID and everything going on, it’s just been a long time, but I’m really looking forward to it.”
Keierleber says what he loves most about Luke Combs. His voice.
“I really love country music, so Luke Combs, I think, has one of the purest vocals, so I’m really excited to see him,” he said.
When it comes to COVID-19 cases, Keierleber says he’s not going to let it stop for a long time, but he thinks it’s a good idea to be cautious, and that’s what MetraPark staff have tried to do this, to ensure that everyone who comes will have a safe and good time.
Metrapark CEO Bill Dutcher said preparation started weeks ago with COVID in mind …
“I think there is a bit of concern,” Keierleber said. “I think getting back to a normal life is definitely a good step in the right direction.”