Carrie Underwood Drops Big Bucks at Secret Rehearsals
When Carrie Underwood rolled into Mobile, Ala. last month with her road crew to rehearse for her Play On tour, it was kept under under very tight wraps. No one was allowed inside during the top secret rehearsals, and the country superstar kept a low profile around town. The last thing they wanted was for tour information to leak, spoiling that most thrilling moment of surprise on opening night!
When Carrie and company wrapped rehearsals earlier this week and rolled out of town to head north for her opening show in Reading, Pa. on Thursday, it was like a wagon train, with about a dozen semi-trucks. And when that wagon train left town, it left behind a hefty wad of cash to benefit the city's economy.
Civic Center Manager Jay Hagerman tells AL.com (via NashvilleGab) that Carrie arrived at the arena with 40 road crew members on Feb. 21, and ended up hiring 80 professional riggers, stage hands and loaders -- all from Mobile, Pensacola, Fla. and Biloxi, Miss. The venue's catering team also scored paychecks, serving up three meals a day for an average of 60 people.
Hagerman, who in the '70s and '80s managed major tours for Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and Wings, Bob Dylan and the Bee Gees, was blown away by the scope and scale of Carrie's much anticipated 'Play On' tour.
"The technology is beyond anything I"ve ever seen," he says. "The clarity of the sound system is unbelievable."
As of yet, Mobile isn't on Carrie's tour schedule, since she's already scheduled to perform at the Pensacola Civic Center on May 5. But Hagerman is holding out hope that a fall date might yet be added.
Until then, the local folk of Mobile have definitely benefited financially from Carrie's hush-hush rehearsals these past couple of weeks. Hagerman conservatively estimates that at least a half a million dollars was spent by Carrie's team on local hires, hotel rooms and the Civic Center Arena rental alone.