Meridian, Miss. Country artist Ronnie Dunn is set to perform at the Riley Center this Friday, and is just the first of 12 shows scheduled for the Fall/Winter series that runs through February. Riley Center Executive Director, Dennis Sankovich, says that compared to numbers from previous years, even though the season hasn't started yet, it has the potential to be very successful.
"It compares really well. We renewed all of our season ticket holders. We're right at where we were last year, which was a really good year for us, so I think we're having another good year with that."
The Riley Center staff looks at several factors when building a season, not only bringing in acts that will pack the theater and bring in more money, but also performers who have ties to, and can relate with the people in this area.
"This season equates to a variety of things. We try to look at Mississippi artists and Mississippi music. Most of these artists represent the birthplace of America's music, and are dedicated to American music."
The performances aren't the only events happening at the Riley Center. They play host to thousands of people coming to attend conferences there as well, and Sankovich says the number of people, and amount of money pumped into the local economy because of the Riley Center may surprise you.
"Last year we had over 71,000 people come downtown to see events and attend conferences. That equates to about a $4 Million impact for the year."
For more information about tickets or the season line-up, you can visit www.msurileycenter.com.