In another rare stadium event, the Blue Wahoos now plan to rock the ballpark.
Pensacola’s unique and popular band, White Tie Rock Ensemble, will perform Oct. 3 inside Blue Wahoos Stadium with a classic rock showcase that will be a first-of-its-kind concert in the stadium’s nine-year history.
“The band is super, super excited to do something for the community and have this chance to bring people together safely and perform here,” said Shannon Reeves, the Blue Wahoos events manager. “It is totally different than anything they have done.”
General admission tickets are $25 and went on sale Thursday. There are also upscale, VIP seating areas on the field and in both dugouts, along with the Hancock Whitney Club level.
As with other events at the stadium, masks will be required upon entrance. Physical distancing will be practiced. The Blue Wahoos staff working the event will be wearing masks and anyone handling tickets or food will be wearing gloves.
“White Tie Rock Ensemble consistently sells out the Saenger Theater and we’re thrilled to support our local music scene and bring a band of their quality and popularity to the ballpark,” said Blue Wahoos President Jonathan Griffith. “With a full safety plan being put in place in the stadium, we’re excited to host a night of great music and memories.”
The band, which combines classic rock hits from bands in past decades like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Journey, Queen and Aerosmith, amid a symphony orchestra stye arrangement, played its first Pensacola concert in March 2012.
Since then, the group’s popularity continued to rise in the community and the region with its special performance style.
The band’s first performance at the venerable Saenger Theater downtown was in 2017. The group has consistently been a box office success with shows that followed. The band features many of Pensacola’s most experienced musical talent.
“Jon (Griffith) and I have tossed around the idea of getting White Tie Rock Ensemble here for awhile,” Reeves said. “I remember we talked about it last year and it always seemed pretty far-fetched to pull off. Because they have been so consistently successful at the Saenger.
“And we are not super well-known as a concert venue. We are certainly well-known for everything else at this point, but we haven’t had that opportunity to really showcase how we can manage a concert. But with COVID-19 and all the effects and restrictions it has caused, we had this opportunity to host an outdoor concert in a spacious setting.”
The event continues the Blue Wahoos’ transition this year from not having a baseball season. With their 2020, 70-game home schedule, scrapped by the coronavirus pandemic and the decision by Major League Baseball to cancel all levels of minor league seasons, the Blue Wahoos have pivoted into hosting non-baseball events.
The last concert at Wahoos Stadium was Oct. 30, 2015 and featured Mobile’s Big Daddy Weave, a contemporary Christian band. The Oct. 3 show will be only the third in stadium history, but the first of its kind with classic rock music.
“When we met to finalize this, everyone around the table was excited,” Reeves said. “It was very much a feeling of, ‘hey, people haven’t heard live music in Pensacola very likely since March. They haven’t had this opportunity.
“So as people are getting more comfortable going out to do things, having their kids go back to school and other things, we thought October would be a great time to bring this opportunity for the band to play our stadium in a safe way.”
Reeves said she hopes the support and success from this concert events will lead to others. With its wide, wrap around concourse, multiple concession storefronts, on-field seating areas and the bayfront vista, Blue Wahoos Stadium can present itself as a viable concert setting.
“There is something about walking into this stadium, and the buzz you get walking on the field, under the lights, at night,” Reeves said. “It is so fun to watch so many people experience that for the first time.”
“We are so lucky to have a venue that allows people to be safe and breathe fresh air … and be spread out and distanced and we are bringing all these new events in that are generally held in other places.”
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: White Tie Rock Ensemble Concert
WHEN: 7 p.m. Oct. 3 (gates open at 6)
WHERE: Blue Wahoos Stadium (Stage will be located at second base).
TICKETS: $25 general admission. On field, VIP box seating for eight people is $600, which includes the tickets, food and access to a private cash bar. In addition, seating at the Hancock-Whitney Club will be $65 apiece and will include a food buffet, soft drinks with cash bar available.
HOW TO PURCHASE: Tickets went on sale Thursday and can be purchased at milb.com/pensacola/news/rock. Or by calling ticket office at 850-934-8444.
SAFETY: Masks required to enter stadium.
This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: White Tie Rock Ensemble coming to Wahoos Stadium for first big concert since COVID