By David Skolnick
About 16,000 people – possibly more – will pack Stambaugh Stadium tonight for the inaugural Y Live: The Youngstown Music Event featuring Zac Brown Band.
Tickets for the concert are still available through Ticketmaster.com and at the SouthWoods Health Box Office at the Covelli Centre.
Approximately 18,000 tickets are available for the concert.
Tailgating at Youngstown State University’s M70 lot off Fifth Avenue and near the stadium begins at 2 p.m.
While the lot, which holds 535 vehicles, is sold out, people still can come to that location at no cost to tailgate, said Eric Ryan, chief executive officer of JAC Live, which is co-promoting the event with the Muransky Companies.
Stadium doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the concert set for 7. There are two opening acts – Darrell Scott and Midland – before Zac Brown Band plays.
The stage will face the west side of the stadium, with the east side seats closed off.
YSU officials have a game plan for parking, first putting vehicles in the surface lots on and near Grant and Arlington streets, then the Fifth Avenue deck and continuing south to lots on Rayen Avenue.
But university officials suggest concertgoers head for the Fifth and Wick avenues parking decks for ease.
All parking on the YSU campus is $20 per vehicle except for the Wick Avenue deck, which is $5.
The Wick deck, which can be accessed from Walnut Street, can hold 2,120 vehicles with a GPS address of 100 Wade St. Wick Avenue by and near the lot is still closed to vehicular traffic because of a construction project.
Also, Danny O’Connell, YSU’s director of support services, said the earlier people get to the show, the easier it will be to park.
YSU students are being told to park on the east side of the campus today. The university will offer a free shuttle bus service from the rear entrance of the Wick Avenue parking deck to Lincoln Avenue.
Also, on-street parking and at city-owned lots will be free after 5 p.m. for concertgoers who want to walk up the hill to the show.
The following items aren’t permitted inside the stadium for the concert: food, beverages, backpacks, coolers, fanny packs, containers of any size, video cameras and professional cameras.
Those attending the show are being encouraged to bring cash to minimize the wait at the food and beverage stands. Credit cards will be accepted at select stands.
Downtown restaurants and bars are expected to see an increase in business, particularly before the show, said Michael McGiffin, the city’s director of downtown events and citywide special projects.
A manager at the V2 Wine Bar Trattoria by Vernon at 100 W. Federal St. said she expects a busy crowd at the downtown restaurant before and after the show, similar to what the business gets when there are concerts at the Covelli Centre.
Ryan said he wants Y Live to be an annual event attracting a headlining act unable to play the downtown Covelli Centre, the indoor arena that usually holds up to 6,000 people for concerts.
Zac Brown Band, winner of three Grammys, is playing Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday and has had a busy touring season including shows in recent months in the Cleveland and Pittsburgh markets.
The band has had 11 No. 1 Billboard Hot Country Songs including “Chicken Fried,” “Free,” and “Keep Me in Mind.” Their latest album, “Welcome Home,” was released in May.