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Clip: Dylan, Willie & minor-league baseball

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  • Carl Zimring
    http://www.coopercrier.com/news/stories/2004/04/01/ccrock.html Concert would bring together Dylan, Nelson By JIM AUSTIN Editor The board of trustees agreed
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 9, 2004
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      http://www.coopercrier.com/news/stories/2004/04/01/ccrock.html

      Concert would bring together Dylan, Nelson

      By JIM AUSTIN

      Editor

      The board of trustees agreed last Thursday to pursue a proposal that would
      bring Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson to Cooperstown in August for a concert at
      Doubleday Field.

      The Cooperstown show would kick off a tour of 20 to 30 minor league
      baseball stadiums by the pair of music industry icons.

      The proposal was introduced by Jeff Idelson of the Hall of Fame, although
      the institution is not connected to the event.

      Idelson was acting as the liaison between the village and the organizer
      because of personal and professional relationship he has with them.

      The organizer of the tour is the Goldklang Group, the owner of six minor
      league teams in New York, Florida, Minnesota, South Dakota, Massachusetts
      and South Carolina. One of the group's partners is Marvin Goldklang, a part
      owner of the New York Yankees.

      "He and his team have a gold plated reputation. We have engaged in three
      promotions with their teams," Idelson said.

      The promoter of the event would be Jam Productions, who he described as
      having vast experience in running outdoor concerts.

      "Cooperstown is a cultural icon because of baseball. It is slowly becoming
      more than that because of the arts. This would be a terrific chance to meld
      the two. It would also add to the mindset of local residents and people
      nationally that we are a serious multi-cultural destination," Idelson told
      the trustees

      He introduced Tom Whaley, the executive vice-president for business
      development for the St. Paul Saints, one of the teams owned by the
      Goldklang Group.

      Whaley explained that in talking with Dylan following a performance in St.
      Paul two weeks ago, he suggested beginning the tour in Cooperstown.

      "We would love to come and start the tour in Cooperstown. It makes perfect
      sense," he said. "There are some negatives, but we have found them to be
      positive events in communities where we have done shows."

      Whaley toured the field earlier in the day with head groundskeeper Joe
      Harris to get a look at the stadium and get a better idea of what they
      would have to work with.

      The date they are looking at for the three to three-and-a-half hour show is
      Friday, August 6, and Whaley said the promoter would like a day on each
      side of the date to insure adequate time for set up and tear down. The
      promoter prefers evening show and would bring in portable lights and
      generators.

      "The promoter is willing to deal with those issues because of where it is,"
      he said.

      Harris said those dates are currently already booked for teams to play at
      the field, but it may be possible to rearrange the schedule.

      "If we could get two games in on Thursday it would give them that night and
      the next day." Harris said. "It would help us tremendously if we could have
      the field back at noon Saturday, I think we could come up with a workable
      plan."

      Howard Talbot, a member of the Doubleday Field committee, asked about what
      would happen if it rains.

      "We would do it rain or shine. You can get the show in," Whaley said.

      But, he added, rain the day before would be the worst case scenario. "There
      would be some turf issues," he said.

      The stage would be set up on the outfield warning track in center or left
      field with festival-style seating on the outfield grass.

      Whaley said the promoter takes care to minimize the wear and tear on the
      field and usually doesn't allow chairs.

      There are some negative aspects to the concert, Whaley said.

      "It is, by nature, disruptive if you don't do it alot," he said.

      It is, he said, a concert with amplified music and it puts strains on
      traffic around the site.

      Doubleday Field is located in a very residential, he said, and there's not
      much that can be done about the noise, except to try and direct out toward
      home plate.

      Talbot said he worried about not just the impact on the field, but also the
      impact on Susquehanna Avenue residents.

      "You will have a some people unhappy with you for doing it," Whaley
      admitted.

      "For myself, it wouldn't bother me," said trustee Lee Malone, who lives
      right behind the field on Susquehanna Avenue. I live right on the field. I
      have family that would love it."

      Whaley said the concert would impact outfield grass, but that
      groundskeepers had developed a program that begins three to four days ahead
      and continues after the concert to prepare and care for the turf.

      A crowd of 10,000 to 12,000 persons would be expected at Doubleday Field at
      a ticket price in the neighborhood of $40, Whaley said.

      Typically, the artists and promoters would share in the revenue from ticket
      and merchandise sales. The village, he explained, would receive the revenue
      from concession sales at the concert which could be expected to average $5
      to $6 per person.

      During the meeting, trustees talked about turning concessions over to a
      not-for-profit group like the fire department.

      Trustee Stu Taugher, the chairman of the Doubleday Field committee made to
      the motion to continue to investigate the possibility of hosting the
      concert.

      Whaley told the board they would need to have a commitment from the village
      within the next two weeks.
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