What are we gonna do with all of these arenas?

An artist’s rendering of the new Pinnacle Arena coming to Lincoln in 2013.

On Sunday, I wrote a front-page story on how the Omaha/Lincoln publicly-owned arenas (including Pinnacle, CenturyLink, the Civic, MAC, Pershing and Ralston arena) are going to compete for concerts.

Concerts are only a fraction of the events that go on in an arena, but they mean giant paydays (i.e. a $1.6 million gross for one Lady Gaga concert).

You can read the whole article, which includes lots of facts and figures. The long and short of it is the following: Lincoln and Omaha are going to compete for lots of shows, but no one really knows exactly how it will play out until Lincoln’s Pinnacle Arena opens in 2013.

Pinnacle will be the cute new baby that everyone wants to play with while CenturyLink Center up in Omaha is the trusted (slightly) older sibling that everyone knows it can count on.

I think that one of them will win out in the end and the other will suffer for it. It will be tough to operate two similar-sized arenas within 60 miles of each other and have them both be profitable. Fans will have their favorites, but its concert tours and promoters that will make the decisions.

In my book, CenturyLink already has the edge. Fans know it, promoters know it and its got quite a nice operating profit. The “shiny new toy” (as one official put it) down the road in Lincoln won’t be shiny forever.

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