Pop Veteran's Upcoming Show Delays The Closing of Mobile Civic Center

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The Mobile Civic Center was expected to close in the near future, but thanks to Elton, city officials are reconsidering--if not postponing the plan.

AL.com reports that Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson announced a delay of closing the building from March 1, 2016, to March 1, 2018.

The closure of the 9,920-seat Civic Center and its Expo Hall has been at the forefront of the Stimpson administration for nearly a year as the administration looks for ways to eliminate its costs, estimated at nearly $2 million a year. In January, the administration ordered a number of groups that utilise the venue to look for alternatives because of the pending 2016 closure.

"The Elton John concert was a consideration based on bringing that kind of activity to Mobile," said Bob Brazier, general manager of the Civic Center and the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center – both which are managed by SMG. "It can't be ignored."

Mayor Stimpson added that Elton's upcoming show has ''brought excitement.''

The revamped local management of SMG has lured several major entertainment acts to the venue in recent weeks highlighted with Elton's March 15 concert, a December performance by comedian Kevin Hart and a January World Wrestling Entertainment event.

Elton's performance has created the most buzz and ticket sales: Brazier said 8,000 tickets were sold on the first day. A few hundred tickets remain.

The show is expected to be a financial boon for a one-night performance, Brazier said. He estimates it could generate anywhere between $60,000 to $100,000 for the city of Mobile, based on sales tax receipts from ticket purchases, merchandise, concessions and parking.

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