After a year of cancelled concerts, rodeos, monster truck events and stage shows because of COVID-19, life is about to return to some degree of normalcy at the Landers Center.
The 8,400 seat arena in Southaven is set to reopen its doors next Friday for a concert featuring top country and folk artist Parker McCollum followed a few weeks later by Legally Blonde: The Musical.
Landers Center Executive Director Todd Mastry said the staff are excited to see big shows return and to welcome people back to the arena for popular events once again.
“We’re all jazzed to open the doors again and say hello to the community, extend our southern hospitality, and put on a great show in a safe environment,” Mastry said.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of hundreds of large-scale events that had been scheduled there. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves lifted the mask mandate earlier this month and is allowing indoor arenas like the Landers Center to re-open at 50 percent capacity.
Mastry said the Landers Center has made a number of changes to address public health concerns. Patrons will see a much more contact-less and touchless experience inside the building.
“We’ve got pedestal scanners where you can bring your phone and scan your ticket. We’ve moved to a clear bag policy that separates our staff from having to go through guests’ things. The concession area has plexiglass,” Mastry said. “We have replaced every water fountain with bottle refillers. And everything is now in to-go containers.”
They have also replaced the air filters with a needlepoint bipolar ionization system that will clean the air as it circulates.
“We have done our homework and our due diligence and have prepared what we believe is going to be a safe environment for those who are desiring to come back,” Mastry said.
Mastry said although it feels like a lost year, the staff have actually grown as a team and have undertaken a number of cosmetic and cleaning projects that has the 20 year-old Landers Center looking like a brand new facility.
“It has allowed us to do things like repainting and cleaning,” Mastry said. “The building looks great. All of us in this industry have been preparing for this day.”
Mastry said the phones are already ringing again at the box office and he personally can’t wait to see the headliner act take the stage again and the noise and excitement from the other events which will soon be returning.
“That still gives me goosebumps. I don’t care who the act is,” Mastry said. “I know the staff are ready to have a big day next weekend.”