A Day in the Life: Director of Sports Facilities

Ray Williams is the Director of Sports Facilities for Erie Events, managing Erie Insurance Arena and Jerry Uht Park. He doesn’t spend much time behind a desk, he’s always on the move, working while walking and making sure everything in each facility is ready for the next event, such as TSO. He writes about “a day in the life” of his job:

Trans-Siberian Orchestra played for a sell-out crowd on November 14th.  While the fans of this band get to come in an hour before the show starts, the preparations for this concert started in the middle of July.

The promoter of the show sent a request for how they want the building to be scaled, or how many seats will be available at certain prices and where those seats will be located.  Those notes were reviewed and drawn into AutoCAD.  This allows us to give the promoter a visual representation of how the building will potentially be scaled, while giving the promoter and the show a chance for approval before we put the show on-sale to the public.  This first run through of ticketing set-up doesn’t usually have any production information available.  The standard practice is to place holds on seats to not sell until we have a more complete picture of how the building will look on show day.  Once those production requirements are known, we can release additional seating after the on-sale even if the show is initially sold out.

For this show we got the production information in mid-August, this included what the stage will look like (dimensions, height etc.), what areas of seating need to be killed because of pyrotechnics or where seats won’t be sold due to poor sightlines.  We then update our CAD file and send it out again to get an approval from the show and promoter that both ticket, and production requirements are met.  Once the show approves the maps, communication typically lags until about a month before the show.  Some promoters will wait until about two weeks out since they have multiple shows each week with different acts.  At this time we will be given the tour requirements, the labor call and what times are for that labor to report, if furniture is needed for dressing rooms, the number of forklifts, the amount of gas that they will need for pyro, how many runners will be needed and if they need vans or can drive their personal vehicles.  All of this is just the work we do before the show arrives at the building to put on a show.

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