Busy time of year, big events draws crowds to downtown Evansville

Busy time of year, big events draws crowds to downtown Evansville

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Ford Center and Victory Theater’s Executive Director Scott Schoenike watched as floor crews prepare the stage for another big event in downtown’s largest venue.

“Our season goes October to April so we are kind of light in the summers and then we get busy," said Schoenike. "Right now we are kind of in that heat of the moment here. We just had seven events in eight days.”

On Thursday, thousands are expected to see Old Dominion and Scotty McCreery perform live. Schoenike says more big events are on the horizon.

“We just put Reba on pre-sale this week and it’s going like gangbusters," said Schoenike. "So it’s neat to see all the people from out of town. That’s what I always look forward to is the people that are coming from Northern Kentucky and even all the way from Southern Illinois, they come to Evansville.”

Evansville CVB’s interim Director Julia Pillow says these events that continue to get bigger and better are helping transform Evansville into a regional city for tourism.

“I think you can see in the last couple years, the quality and size of the concerts and shows that have been coming in have been able to draw those crowds that are regional," said Pillow. "Instead of going to Indianapolis, they come here.”

All of this is allowing downtown businesses to see more customers on a frequent basis. Schoenike has been with the Ford Center since the very beginning, and he’s glad to see the positive effect it has had on the city.

“I walked a little bit down mainstream and it’s good to see the restaurant are all busy and all that on, say a Tuesday night," said Schoenike. “And I think that is exactly part of what we are here for.”

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