When Boyz II Men performed Friday night at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena, it made a big statement that Jamestown can be a destination for premier musical acts.
In landing an act as big as Boyz II Men, the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena has set itself up nicely to land even more big name musical acts in the future.
"We're keeping our fingers crossed," said Lillian Ney, who is a member of the ice arena's board of trustees. "A show like this demands a big crowd and we have a small community, but we're hoping with the marketing that the staff has done that an even broader segment of the regional population will come."
Chart-topping R & B sensations Boyz II Men performed at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena on Friday night.
P-J photos by Liz Skoczylas
"... We're hoping people come for the afternoon and evening so they frequent our restaurants and bars and even stay in our hotels," Ney continued. "Our biggest goal for the ice arena is to be a catalyst for economic development for the whole city. It just fits in with everything we're trying to do."
Ney cited other prominent organizations around town as players in the process of bringing more attractions to the city.
"(In booking big name musical acts) we try to do it in conjunction with other things that are happening around the town," said Ney. "As different organizations have different attractions downtown, it's always beneficial to try to line them up at the same time. It makes it a lot more justifiable for people to come from far away if there's plenty for them to do once they get into the city."
As nice as it is to get a band with as much clout as Boyz II Men in the city, it's not something that just happens by calling up their agent. Michelle Turner of Turner Brokers and head of development and communications for the Bemus Bay Pops believes having a venue as nice as the ice arena helps in landing big name acts.
"Jamestown is so fortunate we have the venue of the ice arena here," said Turner. "One thing that I've always tried to promote is collaboration between the ice arena, the Bemus Bay Pops, the Reg Lenna really the entire Chautauqua County. The more we can get going on in one place will have a ripple effect through the rest of the county."
Kurt Silcott, Chief Executive Officer for the ice arena was simply happy to bring quality entertainment to the people of Jamestown.
"No more driving out of town to see the best shows," said Silcott. "We're going to keep battling to get the best shows we can and I think we've really proved ourselves here today. Hopefully this will bring more success down the road."
Silcott admitted that though he's not the president of the Boyz II Men fan club, he was very excited to see the band perform.
"I like their music I like what they're about," said Silcott. "They're not probably in my CD player at the moment, but I know their music and I'm excited for the show."
The bated enthusiasm Silcott expressed, however, simply couldn't hold a candle to some of the fans waiting in line for the show. Three fans in particular seemed to be bursting at the seems waiting for 8 p.m. to come about.
"We bought our tickets on March 23, just to make sure we got here," said fans Amber Lombardo, Stacy Vasquez and Stacy Howser. "It's fantastic (Jamestown) brought in Boyz II Men."
While Lombardo and Howser are residents of Jamestown, Vasquez came from Atlanta, Ga. The three of them had difficulty forming complete sentences due to their anticipation of the show.
"Do we seem excited?" said Vasquez.
The answer, of course, is yes.
The four-time Grammy award winning group has sold more than 60 million albums. In 1992, Boyz II Men hit No. 1 for the first time on the Hot 100 Pop Chart with "End of the Road." The group's other No. 1 hits include "I'll Make Love to You" and "One Sweet Day" with Mariah Carey, which holds the record for most consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the chart at 16.