The Centennial Campaign Concert set for Kent State University's Dix Stadium on Sept. 8 is shaping up to be the biggest ever live performance at the 43-year-old venue.
With headlining artist Sheryl Crow and openers Los Lonely Boys and O.A.R. the football stadium will play host to the biggest live acts it's ever scene.
Valoree Vargo, director of donor services for Kent State, said it's been more than 20 years since the stadium hosted a live concert.
The concert is being held to celebrate the end of the successful Centennial Campaign, a fundraising effort for the university that ended this past summer and raised $265 million for scholarships, capital improvements and other projects.
"It was important for us to use Dix Stadium because we really wanted to include faculty, staff, donors, students (and) the community," Vargo said. "We wanted them all to be part of this Centennial Campaign celebration thanking everyone for the $265 million that was raised."
Kent State has played host to many live concerts from big names, but more often than not the shows are held inside the MACC. But the MACC has a capacity of about 6,000 compared with the potentially 28,000 seats at Dix Stadium.
Vargo said due to the stage arrangement tickets are only being sold for the west side of the stadium with chairs on the field. Between 12,000 and 15,000 seats are available with the stage on the 50 yard line.
"With a band like Sheryl Crow, O.A.R. and Los Lonely Boys, we thought Dix Stadium would be a great venue," she said. "It's going to be a very intimate show."
The concert celebrates the end of the Centennial Campaign, but it marks the start of the Campaign for Change, which is a peer-to-peer student scholarship program. A portion of the ticket sales will support the scholarship program.
Tickets are available for the general public ($35 and $50) at www.ticketmaster.com. Kent State student tickets ($20 and $30) can be purchased at the Kent State Ticket Office in the MAC Center with a valid Kent State student ID.
A two-for-one ticket deal is available through Sept. 4 for Kent State students.
Prior to the show, tailgating on stadium grounds will be allowed from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Los Lonely Boys are scheduled to take the stage shortly thereafter.
Full concessions will be available at the stadium, including alcohol. Sponsors for the event include Main Street Kent and RLB Phoenix Properties, which paid $25,000 towards the concert. Other sponsors include Huntington Bank, Miller Lite and Cleveland Magazine.
Vargo said the success of the Centennial Campaign Concert will play a part in determining if more big-act live shows come to Dix Stadium in the future.
"We want to bring people on to campus and utilize Dix Stadium, which is a great facility," she said. "We’ll evaluate it on many different factors, not just ticket sales alone.
"I hope that if this is successful that we will do this again," Vargo said. "I think it’s great to have these kinds of events on campus. If we can bring the community and the students and all these folks together for other special events at Dix Stadium I think it’s terrific."