Tag Archives: concerts

Calendar of Events: July/August 2013

June 20, 2013 by

We also have a “Summer Fun in Omaha” list with this summer’s big events. Go here to see that list.


Nancy Lepo/Corey Broman at the Fred Simon Gallery
Through July 12 at Fred Simon Gallery, 1004 Farnam St. The contemporary Nebraska visual artists exhibition features the drawings of Nancy Lepo and ceramics of Corey Broman. M-F/8am-5pm. Free admission. 402-595-2142 – nebraskaartscouncil.org

Raul Colon: Tall Tales and Huge Hearts
Through July 28 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. Explore Raul Colon’s watercolor illustrations of Dr. Jill Biden’s Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops and Frank McCourt’s Angela and the Baby Jesus. Tu-W/10am-4pm; Th/10am-8pm; F-Sat/10am-4pm; Sun/12-4pm. 402-342-3300 – joslyn.org

Tiempo de Danzon by Cristina Kahlo
Through August 24 at El Museo Latino, 4701 S. 25th St. This special contemporary photography exhibition by great-niece of Frida Kahlo, Cristina Kahlo, displays “danzon,” the office genre and dance of Cuba. M,W,F/10am-5pm; Tu,Th/1-5pm; Sat/10am-2pm. M, W, F/10am-5pm; Tu, Th/1-5pm; Sat/10am-2pm. $5 adults, $4 students, $3.50 seniors & ages K-12, free for members. 402-731-1137 – elmuseolatino.org

Secrets of Paris: Food, Culture & What’s Hot
August 29 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.
Learn more about the City of Light during Joslyn Art Museum’s end of summer public lecture, presented by Doni Belau, founder of Girls’ Guide to Paris (.com) and homeowner in France. 6pm. $35 general admission. 402-661-3862 – joslyn.org

Baseball at Boys Town
Through September 30 at Boys Town, 14100 Crawford St.
Highlights the history of baseball from 1917 to today at Boys Town and features autographed baseballs and memorabilia from Hall of Fame players Babe Ruth, Ozzie Smith, and Hank Aaron. Daily/10am-4pm. Free admission. 402-498-1186 – boystown.org

Baseball at Boys Town runs through September 30th. Photo provided by Boys Town.

Baseball at Boys Town runs through September 30th. Photo provided by Boys Town.

Featured artists Baines, Luth, Smith, and Wroblewski
July 2-28 at Artists’ Cooperative Gallery Ltd, 405 S. 11th St.
New works from fused glass artist Jesse Baines, painter and weaver N. Byram Luth, photographer Alan R. Smith, and sculptor Pete Wroblewski. Tu-Th/11am-5pm; F-Sat/11am-10pm; Sun/12-6pm. Free admission. 402-342-9617 – artistsco-opgallery.com

First Friday Old Market
July 5 & August 2 at Old Market, 13th to 10th & Farnam to Leavenworth sts.
Stroll the Old Market’s brick streets and enjoy live music and art galleries during this celebration of local creativity in Omaha’s most historic neighborhood. 6-9pm. Free admission. firstfridayoldmarket.com

The Four Seasons Intertwined
July 13-17 at Florence Mill, 9102 N. 30th St.
Four Nebraska artists who have been friends for 30 years are exhibiting as a group show for the first time in Omaha. Daily/1-5pm. Free admission.
402-551-1233 – historicflorence.org

Featured artists Ellington, Schimenti, Shenefelt
July 30 – August 25, Artists’ Cooperative Gallery Ltd, 405 S. 11th St.
New works from printmaker Carol Meis Ellington and photographers Margie Schimenti and Dale Shenefelt. Tu-Th/11am-5pm; F-Sat/11am-10pm; Sun/12-6pm. Free admission. 402-342-9617 – artistsco-opgallery.com

Ron Parks at the Fred Simon Gallery
August 12 – September 20 at Fred Simon Gallery, 1004 Farnam St.
Sculptor Ron Parks showcases this craftsmanship in this exhibition of contemporary Nebraska visual artists. M-F/8am-5pm. Free admission. 402-595-2142 – nebraskaartscouncil.org


Rockbrook Village Friday Concerts

Through August 30 at Rockbrook Village, 10819 Prairie Brook Rd.
Local musicians entertain families every Friday night throughout the summer. F/7-8pm. Free admission. 402-390-0890 – rockbrookvillage.com

Sounds of Summer Concert Series
Through August 30 at Shadow Lake Towne Center, 72nd St. & Hwy 370
Live bands include a mix of jazz, blues, classic rock, country, and funk. F/6:30-8:30pm. Free admission. 402-537-0046 – shadowlakeshopping.com

The Vibes at Village Point Summer Concert Series
Through August 31 at Village Pointe, 168th & W. Dodge Rd.
Hot live music, dancing, and refreshments. Free admission. 402-505-9773 – villagepointeshopping.com

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers
July 21 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Listen to a new collaboration showcasing new material performed by Martin and Edie Brickell along with the unique hybrid of bluegrass and comedy of Grammy®-winners Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers. 7pm. $49-110. 402-345-0606 – omahaperformingarts.org

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers at the Holland Performing Arts Center July 21st.

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, July 21st.

“Weird Al” Yankovic: The Alpocalypse Tour
July 25 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.
“Weird Al” Yankovic brings his storied four decade career to Omaha as part of his “Alpocalypse Tour,” promoting his latest and highest charting-topping album to date, Alpocalypse. 7:30pm. $30-40. 402-345-0606 – omahaperformingarts.com

Maha Music Festival
August 17 at Aksarben VIllage, 67th St. & W. Center Rd.
Omaha’s homegrown, nonprofit music festival returns for its 5th year, with headliners The Flaming Lips and Matt & Kim. 12pm-12am. $45 in advance, $55 day-of. mahamusicfestival.com

End of the Summer Concert Series
August 23 – September 27 at Midtown Crossing, 31st to 33rd & Farnam to Dodge sts.
A weekly concert series to end the summer, featuring Billy McGuigan and a joint concert with the Omaha Symphony and Opera Omaha. F/7:30pm. Free admission. 402-598-9676 – midtowncrossing.com


Downtown Play Streets
July 27 at 13th-19th on Farnam St.
This festival transforms the downtown streets into a play space and fills it with activities like rock climbing, bike safety courses, cooking demos and zumba. 8am-2pm. Free admission. 402-934-6027 – openstreetsomaha.org

Wild, Wild West Day
July 27 at Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.
Enjoy western inspired activities like cowboy shootouts and trick roping demonstrations for some old-fashioned western fun. 10am-3pm. $9 adults, $7 seniors, $6 children ages 3-12, free for members and children 2 & under. 402-444-5071 – durhammuseum.org

Wild, Wild West Day, July 27th. Photo provided by Durham Museum.

Wild, Wild West Day, July 27th. Photo provided by Durham Museum.

Family Fun Carnival
August 3 at Strategic Air & Space Museum, 28210 W. Park Hwy.
Enjoy bounce houses, face painting, scavenger hunts, and more activities for the whole family. 10am-5pm. $12 adults, $6 ages 4-12, free for members. 402-944-3100 – sasmuseum.com

Midlands Pirate Festival
August 24 at Bellevue Berry Farm & Pumpkin Ranch, 11001 S. 48th St.
A nautical celebration of all things pirate, this special weekend is filled with debauchery and fantasy as participants eat, drink and make merry like a pirate. 11am-5pm. $10 adults, $6 children. 402-331-5500 – bellevueberryfarm.com

North Omaha Play Streets
August 25 at N. 24th St. between Lake & Parker sts.
This festival transforms the North Omaha streets into a play space and fills it with activities like rock climbing, bike safety courses, cooking demos and zumba. 2-7pm. Free admission. 402-934-6027 – openstreetsomaha.org


OwL Ride: Omaha with Lights
July 13 at The Mattress Factory, 501 N. 13th St.
Late-night bike ride in Downtown Omaha, supporting Meyer Foundation for Disabilities. 10pm. owlride.org.

OwL Ride, July 13th.

OwL Ride, July 13th.

Lexus Champions for Marian Golf Tournament
July 15 at Indian Creek Golf Course, 20100 W. Maple Rd.
Golf tournament supporting Marian High School. 11am. 402-659-1567 – marianhighschool.net

Links to a Cure
July 18-19 at Quarry Oaks Golf Course (16600 Quarry Oaks Dr.) & Hilton Omaha (1001 Cass St.)
A dinner gala and golf benefit supporting the Nebraska Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. 6pm. 402-330-6164 – cff.org

Angels Among Us Charity Golf Outing
July 19 at Tiburon Golf Course, 10302 S. 168th St.
Annual golf scramble supporting Angels Among Us. 11am. 402-885-4840 – myangelsamoungus.org

Hope in the Heartland Gala
July 19 at Stinson Park at Aksarben Village, 2285 S. 67th St.
Annual American Cancer Society gala themed “An Evening at the Races.” 6pm. 402-393-5801 – cancer.org

Driving for Excellence Golf Fest
July 22 at The Players Club at Deer Creek, 12101 Deer Creek Dr.
Golf event supporting Mercy High School. 402-553-9424 – mercyhigh.org

Joslyn Castle Literary Festival
July 27 – August 10 at Joslyn Castle, 3902 Davenport St.
Travel back in time to celebrate all that made the ‘20s roar with an assortment of events featuring F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, the Jazz Age, and a classic car show. 402-595-2199 – joslyncastlecarclassic.com

24th Annual Swing with Pride
August 5 at The Players Club at Deer Creek, 12101 Deer Creek Dr.
Golf outing with silent auction and dinner, supporting Roncalli Catholic High School. 402-571-7670 – roncallicatholic.org

2013 JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes
August 10 at Lewis & Clark Landing, 515 N. Riverfront Dr.
Walk and T1D 5K Dash supporting JDRF Heartland Chapter. A registration fee applies for 5K Run participants. 5K/7:30am; Walk/9am. 402-397-2873 – jdrf.org

BaconFest Omaha
August 11 at Omaha Kroc Center, 2825 Y St.
Bacon-inspired cuisine, entertainment, and family activities, supporting The Salvation Army KROC Center. 1pm. 402-898-7700 – omahakroc.org

7th Annual Summer Bash for Childhood Cancer
August 17 at Tip Top Ballroom, 1502 Cuming St.
Dinner, auctions, and entertainment supporting Metro Area Youth Foundation, Inc. 5:30pm. 402-871-6246 – summerbashforccc.org

Omaha Walk to Defeat ALS
August 17 at Werner Park, 12356 Ballpark Way
Fundraising walk supporting the ALS Association. 9am. 402-991-8788 – webkwc.alsa.org

15th Annual Ted E. Bear Hollow 5K Fun Run & Remembrance Walk
August 24 at Outback Steakhouse, 7605 Cass St.

A walk and 5K run supporting Ted E. Bear Hollow. 8am. 402-502-2773 – tedebearhollow.org



Monday Night Movies in the Park
Through July 22 at Turner Park in Midtown Crossing, 31st to 33rd & Farnam to Dodge St. Presented by Marcus Midtown Cinema and the Omaha World-Herald, this eight-week movie series features movies chosen by the audience. Crowds gather at dusk with blankets, chairs, and popcorn. Free admission. 402-346-6900 – midtowncrossing.org

Brewery Tour
Through July 27 at Lucky Bucket Brewery, 11941 Centennial Rd. Tour the Lucky Bucket Brewery and try five year-round beers in addition to some limited editions not available in stores. W-F/5:30pm; Sat/12-2pm. 402-763-8868 – luckybucketbrewing.com

River City Star Sunday Public Sightseeing Cruise
Through August 25 at River City Star Riverboat, 151 Freedom Park Rd. Spend your Sunday afternoon relaxing on the water, enjoying the sights and sounds of Omaha’s riverfront. Sun/1-2pm & 2:30-3:30pm. 402-342-7827 – rivercitystar.com

River City Star Public Sightseeing Cruises on Fridays (through October) and Sundays (through August).

River City Star Public Sightseeing Cruises on Fridays (through October) and Sundays (through August).

Florence Mill Farmers Market
Through September 29 at Florence Mill, 9102 N. 30th St.
A local farmers market featuring fresh, local produce, artisans and live music every Sunday afternoon. Sun/10am-3pm. Free admission. 402-551-1233 – historicflorence.org

River City Star Friday Evening Public Dinner Cruise
July 12 – October 4 at River City Star Riverboat, 151 Freedom Park Rd.
Spend an evening on the Missouri River while enjoying live entertainment on this one-and-a-half hour, two-entree dinner cruise. F/6:30-8pm. $42 adults, $38 seniors (65+), $21 children 12 & under. 402-342-7827 – rivercitystar.com

River City Star Public Irish Dinner Cruise
July 24 at River City Star Riverboat, 151 Freedom Park Rd.
This one-and-a-half hour Irish dinner cruise features live entertainment from Dave March along with a two-entree Irish dinner buffet. 6:30-8pm. $45 adults, $43 seniors (65+), $21 children 12 & under. 402-342-7827 – rivercitystar.com

Tour de Zoo at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
August 8 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.
Bring your bike and ride during Tour de Zoo, featuring dinner, snacks, refreshments, and special animal encounters all evening long. 6:30-8:30pm. $20 with regular paid zoo admission, free for children 2 & under. 402-738-2038 – omahazoo.com


Omaha Kids’ Triathlon
July 20 at Cunningham Lake, 8660 Lake Cunningham Rd.
This triathlon, open to children from 6 to 14 years, emphasizes fitness, fun, and safety while children compete in age-appropriate distances. 8:30am. 402-548-4258 – raceomaha.com

Tomato Fight Run
July 20 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Join thousands of people in one of the biggest tomato fights of the year at the finish line of this 5K run. 10am. $45. 402-341-1500 – tomatofightrun.com

Omaha Triathlon
July 21 at  Cunningham Lake, 8660 Lake Cunningham Rd.
A three-event race that challenges participants to run, bike, and swim the Olympic distance of 50.5 kilometers: a 1.5K swim, 40K bike ride, and 10K run. 8:30am. 402-548-4258 – raceomaha.com

Omaha Triathlon, July 21st. Photo by Rick Anderson.

Omaha Triathlon, July 21st. Photo by Rick Anderson.


TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby and 29th Annual Omaha World-Herald Independence Day Fireworks
July 3 at TD Ameritrade Park, 1200 Mike Fahey St.
Watch college baseball’s premiere power hitters show off their skills during the home run derby and stay for the fireworks show conclusion. 7:30pm. $35 Family Four Packs, $12 adults, $8 kids. 1-800-745-3000 – collegehomerunderby.com

Omaha Storm Chasers vs. Oklahoma City RedHawks and Nashville Sounds
July 22-29 at Werner Park Omaha, 12356 Ballpark Way.
The Omaha Storm Chasers face off against the Oklahoma City RedHawks and the Nashville Sounds in one of the season’s longest home sessions. $6-15.50.  402-738-5100 – omahastormchasers.com

Omaha Heart vs. Baltimore Charm
August 3 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St.
Lingerie Football League game. $16.50-76.50. 402-934-9966 – lfsus.com/omahaheart


August 16 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
Sirens combines romance, music, and Greek mythology to tell the story of one-hit-wonder songwriter Sam Abrams. Th-Sat/7:30pm; Sun/2pm. $35 adults, $21 students. 402-553-0800 – omahaplayhouse.com

Sirens, August 16th.

Sirens, August 16th.

Other Desert Cities
August 22 – September 15 at SNAP! Productions, 3225 California St.
This Pulitzer Prize-nominated play explores the relationships of a family with differing political views and a tragic family secret that is threatened to be exposed. 402-341-2757 – snapproductions.com

2013 Summer Fun in Omaha!

May 1, 2013 by

Looking for some fun events happening around Omaha this summer? Here’s a list of the “big ones” coming your way, and there’s something for everyone!


Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power
Through May 5 at The Durham Museum

Nature Connects
Through May 17 at Lauritzen Gardens

Dinosaurs Alive! The Lost Valley
Through October at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

Berkshire Hathaway Shareholder Meeting
May 4-5 at CenturyLink Center Omaha

Cinco de Mayo
May 5 at Historic South 24th Street

Al Jarreau & Condoleeza Rice Gala Concert
May 10 at Holland Performing Arts Center

Carrie Underwood
May 12 at CenturyLink Center Omaha

The Addams Family
May 14-19 at Orpheum Theater

The Color Run
May 25 at CenturyLink Center Omaha

A Bug’s World
May 25 – September 8 at Omaha Children’s Museum

A T-Rex Named Sue
May 25 – September 8 at The Durham Museum

16th Annual Taste of Omaha
May 31 – June 2 at Heartland of America Park and Lewis & Clark Landing

The Wizard of Oz
May 31 – June 30 at Omaha Community Playhouse


Tempo of Twilight
June 5 & 19, July 10 & 24, August 7 & 21, September 4 at Lauritzen Gardens

Omaha Beer Fest
June 7-8 at Stinson Park at Aksarben Village

Summer Arts Festival
June 7-9 at 10th to 15th on Farnam St.

Sand in the City®
June 8-9 at CenturyLink Center Omaha

Renoir to Chagall: Paris and the Allure of Color
June 8 – September 1 at Joslyn Art Museum

2013 NCAA® College World Series Opening Day Celebration
June 14 at TD Ameritrade Park

2013 NCAA® College World Series
June 15-26 at TD Ameritrade Park

Shakespeare on the Green: Twelfth Night
June 20-23, July 3, 5, & 7 at Elmwood Park

Shakespeare on the Green: Titus Andronicus
June 27-30, July 2 & 6 at Elmwood Park


Alice Cooper
July 3 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

The Avett Brothers
July 3 Harrah’s Stir Cove

Yoga Rocks the Park
Through July 14 at Turner Park at Midtown Crossing

Justin Bieber
July 6 at CenturyLink Center Omaha

U.S. Senior Open
July 8-14 at Omaha Country Club

Kenny G
July 11 at Ralston Arena

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
July 11 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

Jazz on the Green
July 11 – August 15 at Turner Park at Midtown Crossing

Railroad Days
July 13-14 at Lauritzen Gardens

Martina McBride
July 19 at Ralston Arena

Sheryl Crow
July 21 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

Daughtry & 3 Doors Down
July 31 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

Native Omaha Days
July 31-August 5 at various locations


Darius Rucker
August 2 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

Riverfront Wine Festival
August 3 at Stinson Park at Aksarben Village

Queens of the Stone Age
August 4 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

Nebraska Balloon & Wine Festival
August 9-10 at 204th & Q streets

Peter Frampton’s Guitar Circus
August 17 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

Omaha Fashion Week
August 19-24 at Capitol District

Cox Classic
August 19-25 at Champions Run

August 30 at Harrah’s Stir Cove

Believe the Omahype

February 25, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Omaha resident Will Simons has worn many hats. As the managing editor of the now defunct Omaha City Weekly, he flexed his journalistic prowess while balancing a music career in the local band Thunder Power and jumpstarting his own business venture, Omahype. The curated online events calendar aims to provide locals with all of their entertainment needs. It solves the problem of having to sift through several different websites and papers just to find out what’s going on, plus it’s optimized for mobile operating systems. Simons had a little help coming up with the concept.

“I can’t say it was my idea initially. It was definitely a team effort. I used to interview local musicians at a previous job. One of those interviews was with Laura Burhenn, who, at the time, was a recent Omaha transplant from D.C. She was about to release the debut album for her group, The Mynabirds,” Simons explains. “She mentioned that she was in the early stages putting together an online youth culture-oriented events calendar and blog for the Omaha area and asked if I’d liked to help out. Of course, I said yes. With a background in arts and entertainment journalism, I knew Omaha sorely needed a one-stop website that listed all the best events in town for a younger, more culture-savvy audience. What sealed the deal was when Laura told me that two of the most talented web designers in town, Dave Nelson and Cody Peterson [of Secret Penguin], were already on board to help build it.”

Getting it off the ground hasn’t exactly been simple. To run Omahype successfully, obtaining multiple advertisers is key for Simons and the rest of the team. People are slowing coming around, but with all four founders having time-consuming day jobs (and rock careers), it’s difficult to juggle it all. However, Simons is working on a solution.

“The biggest challenge is generating enough money from advertising to justify someone working for Omahype full-time. I am transitioning into a part-time situation at my job so I can direct most of my energy toward Omahype,” he says.

Will Simons

Will Simons

“Aside from advertising, we’re seeking sponsorships from companies with employees and customers in sync with the readers of Omahype. We also plan on throwing more events. Our goal at Omahype is to support, nurture, and expand the cultural landscape of the city.”

Peterson is currently working on Omahype’s redesign and once that’s done, Simons assures visiting Omahype will be a “beautiful and intuitive experience.” In addition, browsers will discover the most relevant listings for concerts, art galleries, comedy shows, and independent films. Also, local restaurant reviews and concert photographs are popping up more regularly. Simons is optimistic.

“With the new redesign, we hope to realize our goal of having an online calendar that is the one go-to source for all of the Omaha area’s best events and major cultural happenings,” he concludes. “Who knows? Maybe we’ll be able to expand to [other] cities at some point. Oh, and an office space would be nice, too [laughs].”

In the meantime, Simons and crew have executed a handful of fundraising events to help generate funds. They are planning on throwing more music events to keep up the momentum. Most recently, Omahype sponsored its third annual Rock-n-Shop event at The Slowdown on December 14. It featured a slew of prominent Omaha bands such as All Young Girls Are Machine Guns, Noah’s Ark Was a Spaceship, Laura Burhenn of The Mynabirds and, of course, Thunder Power. Several local vendors were also on hand to showcase their goods. If Simons keeps this up, Omahype could very well be the go-to calendar for all of Omaha’s “cool kids.”

The Ralston Arena

November 25, 2012 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

While Ralston’s new $36 million arena is impressive, drawing big crowds and solid reviews, it isn’t getting too big for its britches.

“We’re not going to target the U2s or the Bruce Springsteens,” said Lynn Higgenbotham, marketing director for the arena. “But it’s a good size, a good fit.”

Modesty becomes it. The state-of-the-art arena can host 3,500 guests and easily accommodated the crowd for its October 19 opening concert with country singer Rodney Atkins.

Upcoming events include rodeos, UFC (Ultimate Fighting) matches, high school games, and trade shows. The arena will also host the USHL Lancers (attracted by not one, but two sheets of ice), the UNO men’s basketball team, the IFL Omaha Beef Football, the Omaha Roller Girls, and the LFL (Lingerie Football League) Omaha Heart. “They draw about 16,000 in other venues,” Higginbotham said of Omaha’s own LFL team.

20121106_bs_1919 copy

The arena sits at 73rd & Q streets in Ralston.

So the arena, at a quarter of that size, is hoping for a sell-out?

“That’s the goal, of course,” she said. While no event is too small for the arena, Higgenbotham said that its main purpose is to host major events. Direct competition with larger local facilities such as the Mid-America Center is, of course, out of the question. Such venues are able to seat twice as large a crowd. “The larger places can adapt themselves to a smaller theater setting,” she explained, but Ralston Arena is poised to set itself apart. “We want more diverse entertainment and sports events,” Higgenbotham said. “The Ralston residents really took ownership of this venue.”

That could be because, previously, there were no other event facilities in Ralston, according to Curtis Webb, general manager of Ralston Arena. “People would drive into Omaha for entertainment,” he said.

The arena, which broke ground June 29, 2011, on what used to be Lakeview Golf Course, is Ralston’s answer to a need for taxable income. Since 2008, Mayor Don Groesser had been attempting to attract a retailer onto the space with little luck. “We started talking with the Lancers about an arena,” Groesser said. Due to the scarcity of ice time in Omaha, the hockey team was excited about the idea of an arena with a few thousand seats.

“We want more diverse entertainment and sports events.” – Lynn Higgenbotham, marketing director for Ralston Arena

“Now that it’s here,” Webb said, “the venue should drive sales tax in the form of tickets, food, and beverage.” To pay down the debt of building the arena, LB 779 (or the Ralston Bill as it was known by the time it passed in 2010) puts 70 percent of the state’s portion of sales tax from any retailer within 600 yards of the arena toward the arena’s bill. As Groesser put it, “That’s basically how we’re going to pay for the building.”

As a result of this legislation, Groesser and Webb are encouraging more businesses to build within that 600-yard range of the arena. “We just got Menards to build on 72nd and L,” Groesser said. He also plans to introduce a new four-story hotel next to the facility, the first floor of which will be shops along the lines of salons, clothing, and convenience. “So another 10,000 square feet of retail,” he said. Add that on to the 4,600 square feet leased by The Dugout (clothing store) inside the arena, itself.

“We need all the new retail we can possibly get,” Groesser explained. “Everything I’ve done, I’ve tried to make sure of that.”

For more information about Ralston Arena, visit ralstonarena.com.