Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center see increase in ticket sales

After the coronavirus, workers and guests say they are ready for the fun in store.
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 7:23 PM CST
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - From country music stars to sci-fi conventions, the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center’s calendar are booked with events.

Crews are thrilled to set up for the Coliseum’s events that bring in more sales. Officials say that event bookings are strong for 2022.

Vendors like Catherine Phillips at Coast Con said she looks forward to the coliseum’s events because they guarantee large crowds.

“We wish they would have more. There’s just not enough of that down here on the coast, but there’s not a lot of places that can handle the amount this thing brings in,” said Phillips.

However, when the pandemic hit in 2020, the events and crowds disappeared.

The Coliseum’s Executive Director Matt McDonnell said it lost more than three million dollars in 2020 due to COVID-19, but the rebound eliminated the obstacles.

“From April until now, it has really made up for a lot of lost ground. We’re seeing we’re not only to equal previous years, but we’re going to surpass them in many cases,” said McDonnell.

McDonnell said out of the 45 years of hosting concerts, Thursday night’s concert with Morgan Wallen established a new ticket gross record.

“We sold about 9,500 but it was the gross amount of dollars, the amount per ticket that created that number,” said McDonnell.

Ched Besse is the owner of Sinister Emporium and decided to be a vendor at Coastcon as well. He said seeing high activity reassures vendors that they will make high sales also.

“It looks like it’s going to be good from everything that’s happening so far, especially with Mardi gras just passing. Everything getting back up, I’m hoping everyone show back up, spend money and fill everyone’s pockets,” said Besse.

McDonnell said if the pandemic didn’t happen then the coliseum wouldn’t have seen the sales it sees now.

“While the pandemic created a lot of challenges and obstacles, it also created a lot of opportunities. Those opportunities now are translating into more bookings, more people coming to the events that we’re booking and spending more money,” said McDonnell.

Officials say to keep an eye out for events that haven’t been announced yet.

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