Live! Casino and Hotel is drawing headliners like Adam Sandler to its new entertainment venue
Celebrity stars are coming to town.
Live! Casino and Hotel raised the stakes of the entertainment game this month by opening a new three-story, multi-purpose venue with a $10 million sound system called “The Hall at Live!” The move could be the casino’s winning hand, with tickets for Vegas headliners like comedian Adam Sandler on pace to sell out.
“It’s an incredible milestone for a venue that hasn’t been open to the public,” said Jake Joyce, Live! Casino and Hotel’s chief marketing officer.
The 75,000-square-foot event center has three levels of seating: an orchestra level, an intimate level with boxes, and a VIP level with a private bar and lounge. The venue kicked off the new year with its first formal event — a New Year’s Eve party that roughly 5,000 people attended.
“2020 is the year of The Hall at Live,” Joyce said.
Elected officials from Maryland and Anne Arundel County got a sneak peak of the event center while it was under construction in November. The county gave The Cordish Cos. — which owns Live! Casino and Hotel in Hanover — up to a $36 million tax break as part of a law called payment in lieu of taxes deal or PILOT. The law gives tax breaks to real estate developments that provide public benefits to county residents.
Smaller shows have performed at Live’s other venue, Center Stage since the hotel and casino opened five years ago. In recent years, many of the comedy and music shows at this stage have sold out. This speaks to the demand for an accessible entertainment venue from county residents who must travel long distances to see big-name acts, Joyce said.
“We built this in mind … as a place where the community can come into their backyard and see entertainment in a venue that will rival those not only in D.C. and Baltimore but beyond,” Joyce said.
The entertainment center caters to a variety of audiences and tastes to match its diverse customer base, officials said.
So far, the 2020 line up at The Hall at Live includes a range of acts such as R&B artist Jill Scott in February, Josh Groban in April, Latin pop star Prince Royce in April and Maryland-native rock band O.A.R in March.
Celebrity comedians like Sandler and Iliza Shlesinger will perform in March. Comedian Gabriel Iglesias is slated to perform in August.
Along with music and entertainment, the event center hosts sports viewing parties and corporate events. Tickets are on sale for a “McGregor vs. Cowboy UFC” viewing party this month, with all-you-can-drink packages going for $35.
This is a contrast from the ticket prices of top tier entertainment shows. The cheapest ticket to Sandler’s popular March event will cost around $93. “Mezzanine” seats are $113. The casino and hotel also offer “stay and play” packages that come with perks like dinner and spa deals. A “Show & Slumber” package to Sandler’s show includes a night in a king hotel room and two VIP seats, totaling $650.
Joyce recommends following Live! Casino and Hotel on social media to stay informed about what headline acts are coming to town and to buy tickets quickly because shows are likely to sell out.
Live! Casino and Hotel also boasts its $10 million audio-visual system as an attraction that competing Maryland venues can’t match. The installation has controls that are “surgically tuned” to “optimize the concert experience.” Sound, temperature and humidity can be controlled to the needs of the crowd. Additionally, the center’s main LED screen clocks in at just under 1,000 square feet and is on a movable track.
“We’re really looking to The Hall to really launch us into the music genre and put us on the map as a real music venue in the region,” Joyce said.
The casino worked to elevate its entertainment lineup in the years leading up to The Hall’s grand opening. Previous acts include Howie Mandel, Chris D’Elia, Tom Segura, Norm MacDonald, and an evening with some of the celebrity housewives. Live’s more intimate Center Stage will continue to host free events for guests like salsa dancing, karaoke and tribute cover bands.
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