Zac Brown fans prefer having their tickets in hand at Covelli box office

By Sean Barron


Barbara Rupinsky has seen the Zac Brown Band perform twice – once each in Pittsburgh and Detroit. But you can say that in many ways, the third time will be the charm.

“It’s just happy music, and he tells a story,” the Warren woman said after having bought two tickets Saturday morning at the Covelli Centre box office so she and her husband can see the Atlanta-based country and southern rock group perform Aug. 24 in Youngstown State University’s Stambaugh Stadium.

Tickets also are on sale at

Rupinsky was among the few dozen people who arrived shortly before the box office opened at 10 a.m. to make their purchases for what many predict will be the largest concert in the city’s history, which also will be part of the eight-member Zac Brown Band’s Welcome Home 2017 tour. Stambaugh Stadium can hold up to 21,000 people. Promoting the outdoor Y Live show are the Muransky Companies and JAC Management, which have been instrumental in bringing legendary artists such as Elton John, Lionel Richie and Barry Manilow to the Mahoning Valley.

Many people prefer to buy concert tickets online, but Rupinsky said she made the trip to the box office because “I like having the tickets in my hand.” Rupinsky and her husband will be sitting in a corner seat in the sixth row from the field, she explained, adding that her favorite Zac Brown Band song is “Toes.”

Rupinsky said that her love of country music developed during her adult years, and that other concerts she’s attended include Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith and Luke Bryan. Last summer, she visited the Johnny Cash Museum and the Ryman Auditorium, both in Nashville, Tenn.

Following a similar love-for-country-music trajectory are Mike and Margie Cretella of Austintown, who called themselves “huge country music fans.”

“I am more than he is,” Margie said with laughter. “This will put Youngstown on the map.”

Margie added that she predicts the concert will be a high-energy, enjoyable event with a fun and excited crowd. Her list of entertainers she’s seen live includes Brad Paisley, Vince Gill, Tim McGraw and Willie Nelson, as well as Carrie Underwood twice.

The couple preferred to buy their tickets at the box office largely because it can be difficult to predict how long it may take to get them via a website, especially with high online traffic. In addition, the Covelli Centre has plenty of open windows from which to receive good and quick customer service, Mike said.

The performance also will “be good for the city and the university,” he added.

The 15-year-old Zac Brown Band has won three Grammy Awards: Best New Artist in 2010, Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 2011 for “As She’s Walking Away” and Best Country Album in 2013 for “Uncaged.”

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