Sunday’s Dwight Yoakam concert marked the 853rd major event in the history of Tupelo’s BancorpSouth Arena.
Derek recently wrote a story looking back at the facility’s history, and he discusses it (5:08) with Brad on today’s episode.
The $16.5 million facility was built on the grounds of the former Tupelo Downtown Mall. City leaders bought the building and 27 acres of land for nearly $3 million in 1988 and formed a committee to study the feasibility of putting an entertainment complex in a town of then 30,000 people. The arena opened its doors on October 9, 1993, with Bill Cosby as its first performance.
Since then, it has played host to entertainment giants from Bob Dylan and Reba McEntire to Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Aerosmith and The Eagles to Kenny Chesney and Alan Jackson.
Derek looks at what has allowed a 10,000 seat building in a town of 35,000 people to draw such large acts, and he discusses the factors that determine which acts will be a good fit and which will not. Derek also talks about the renovations the facility will soon undergo to replace the seating in its lower bowl and keep it looking fresh.
Also on today’s episode, Daily Journal Capitol Bureau chief Bobby Harrison (25:47) discusses a bill passed this year by the Mississippi Legislature that could open to door to legalized betting on sporting events at the state’s casinos.
The bill was intended to legalize and regulate fantasy sports in the state. But many experts contend it also will allow for sports betting, if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns a current federal law the prevents most states from allowing sports betting. The high court is expected to rule on that case next spring, although the Mississippi Legislature can opt to revisit its new law before then.
Ginna Parsons (31:51) discusses Joyner Market, a vegetable cart set up by Joyner resident Jerry Thompson to share his produce with his neighbors. The cart uses an honor box, and people are expected to take what they need and leave what they can. Thompson sells tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, flowers and more. Proceeds benefit a church program that provides food for needy children in Tupelo Schools to eat on the weekends.