SUGAR LAND, Texas — On Thursday night, the one-millionth person bought a ticket to a performance at Sugar Land's Smart Financial Centre.
The venue has only been open for 2-and-a-half years but has become remarkably successful in that short period of time.
The Rascal Flatts concert Thursday night was good for the fans and also good for Smart Financial Centre. The Sugar Land venue has sold the second-most number of tickets of any venue in the state of Texas so far this year.
Smart Financial Centre is not the biggest concert hall in the area, and it is not located in Houston proper.
The singers do not seem to mind; the big names keep coming: Sting, Rod Stewart, Dave Matthews Band, Mariah Carey and others have all performed at the venue since it opened in 2017.
The venue has a few thousand seats -- not tens of thousands.
Andrew Huang, Smart Financial Centre marketing and communications director, said the venue identified a niche: attracting artists looking for something a little smaller.
“We’re kind of a mid-sized venue that didn’t exist in the market before," Huang said. "So we really helped facilitate a lot of artists that would have been playing at a larger venue to some empty seats.”
Just before Rascal Flatts took the stage, the venue's millionth ticket buyer got a prize.
Smart Financial Centre is ranked 7th in the world among venues with fewer than 10,000 seats for most tickets sold in 2019, according to performance-industry tracker Pollstar.
The success of SFC is proof Fort Bend County is continuing to grow, and so is its audiences.
“We do a lot of different shows," Huang said. "We just try to be very diverse. With the population growth in Fort Bend County, I think they were starving for something in their own backyard."
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