The Milwaukee Brewers have signed a deal with Ballpark Music to stage concerts at Miller Park next season. The pact gives the team an opportunity to generate revenue while the team is on the road with rapid setup and teardown for the 42,000-capacity stadium.
Ballpark Music, or BPM, was launched last November by Brandon Bissell, former Sr. Entertainment Manager and Talent Buyer for the Atlanta Braves. BPM focuses mostly on staging post-game concerts for his client teams, which include the Braves, Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies. In June he booked a Chris Stapleton concert for a Braves home game against the Florida Marlins. The game was only forecast to sell 24,000 tickets — they ended up selling 50,247, the highest sales since Opening Day of 2014. The team also sold 2,000 field passes, resulting in an additional $1 million in revenue.
“It was a huge increase related directly to Chris Stapleton playing,” he said. “And the artists really like it because it’s a different kind of play. They get to come out to the ballpark, watch a game, meet the players and then perform on what is considered sacred ground out on the field.”
Bissell also booked a Sam Hunt concert for the Braves that led to the sale of 24,000 additional tickets, as well as a Toby Mac post-game show that resulted in 10,000 extra tickets being sold.
Bissell said his deal with the Brewers is to stage hard ticket concerts co-promoted between the Brewers and BPM. Miller Park has a retractable roof and has a longer concert calendar window that most ballparks. Bissell said the concerts will likely take place when the team is on the road, starting next season.
“We’ve come up with a way to lessen the load in time, make the load out quicker and scale the venue down to as small 15,000 seats,” he said. “That opens up a world of possibilities for all sorts of different artists. Whether they can sell 15,000 tickets or 30,000 tickets, we can move the stage back and scale the show up so the artist isn’t capped.”
The deal allows artists to tap into the Brewers marketing assets like in-game advertising and it’s huge CRM database — last season, the team had 2.5 million fans, ranking 13th in the league.
“We can do in-game drops, radio and TV, and we can promote in the stadium or use the Brewers social media channels,” he said. “That’s $300,000 worth of value that we can put against the show and it costs nothing. We can get to the back end a lot quicker and the artist can take home more money.”
The deal has Bissell jumping into a very competitive market. Milwaukee is home to Summer Fest, one of the highest grossing festivals in the country, and by branching out into stadium concerts, Bissell is entering a space that’s been mostly dominated by AEG’s Louis Messina and Live Nation’s Brian O’Connell.
“Brian O’Connell does a great job at pretty much everything he touches,” he said. “We’ve got an opportunity here in an amazing music market for artists to come in and maybe make a little more money than they have in the past. It would be crazy not to try and take advantage of the facility and the Brewers’ marketing capabilities.”