WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Rat Pack is Back is performing at Warren’s Packard Music Hall, and the concert was close to selling out on Friday, a rarity these days.
More than 1,700 tickets were sold for the show — another success for Eric Ryan and JAC Management Group, which took over operations at Packard. Over the last 16 months of his leadership, many of Packard’s concerts have sold out.
“I would say [I was] a little bit surprised for the first year. We probably thought it would take a little longer than that to have 10 sellouts,” said Jim Bugos, general manager at Packard Music Hall.
Those 10 sellouts came in the past year, with acts like Joe Walsh and the Counting Crows. The sign at the ticket office reads that Chicago’s February 28th concert is already sold out.
It wasn’t always this way.
“Packard kind of sat, I don’t want to say sat empty, but it was not on the map for top-notch entertainment for a lot of years,” Bugos said.
Ken Haidaris, owner of Sunrise Entertainment, is the promoter who brought The Rat Pack is Back to Warren. He said the partnership between Sunrise Entertainment and JAC Management works well for Packard.
“It’s been a wonderful partnership. Sunrise Entertainment and JAC, we work very well together,” he said. “They do a great job running auditoriums, so it has been a win-win for everybody involved.”
With 2,200 seats, Packard Music Hall has been a part of Warren since 1955, and it is known for its acoustics.
“Played in halls in every state in the country, and this, judging by sound check, this has the best sound almost ever. It’s super clear,” said Drew Carrano, the “Dean Martin” of The Rat Pack is Back.
When asked what JAC did to make Packard successful, Bugos mentioned things like teamwork and media partners. But the bottom line is getting the right acts.
“If the public’s not willing to spend the money for a ticket, you can bring in the Rolling Stones, but if they’re not willing to pay for a ticket, it doesn’t matter,” he said.
Eric Ryan’s JAC Management Group also runs the Covelli Centre in downtown Youngstown, which has also had several years of financial success.