Billings Gazette Gets It Wrong…Again
It didn't take long for the Billings Gazette to bash Metra Park after Paul McCartney announced his big concert in Missoula. In today's editorial, the Gazette said that "Billings is no longer a tour stop."
They then cited cancelled performances by classic country acts like Mel Tillis and Leroy Van Dyke and the "pathetic path" of entertainment at the tax payer funded venue.
Once again, the Gazette is off base. For starters, Billings doesn't have a stadium big enough to host a concert the size of Paul McCartney. If an act like McCartney played Metra Park, they'd have to charge $500 a ticket. Then the Gazette would complain that tickets were too expensive.
Mark and Paul are all for big concerts coming to town, but not on the taxpayer dime. Simply put, tax payers should not be responsible for other people's entertainment. And concert promoters assume a lot of risk when they book big name acts.
At the height of his popularity, Tim McGraw sold 4,000 seats at Metra Park. In her peak years, Reba McEntire cancelled a Billings show due to low ticket sales. Even Kenny Chesney played to half the house when he came here.
If the Gazette is willing to pick up the tab for some of these shows, let them write the check. Until that happens, here's a thought: the taxpayers just bought a $20 million library, let people go there and watch the concert online.