AT&T Stadium is no stranger to hosting big events, but now it’s getting ready to take on a whole new animal. The Academy of Country Music Awards will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a Texas-sized party at Jerry World on April 19.
“I mean, you’re taking an arena show that’s been around since 1966, and we scale that to a stadium,” said Mark Neifeld, event manager at AT&T Stadium.
That’s a Texas-sized undertaking. AT&T Stadium is significantly larger than the ACM Award’s longtime home at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Crews have already spent nearly three weeks getting the stadium ready – and still have a lot of work to do.
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“This event brings in so many different elements to the other major events that are out there right now,” said Neifeld. “We’re pretty much creating a venue that’s going to be a TV studio.”
For starters, crews have to assemble and lift 350,000 pounds of rigging over the stadium floor, the largest such setup ever attempted at AT&T Stadium.
“There aren’t very many shows in the world that are out there rigging that much,” said Neifeld.
They’ll also assemble two 1,000 square foot performance stages, a main stage, extra video screens, lasers, lights and more.
“To do that, to scale the event, is incredibly challenging,” said Neifeld. “But it’s going to be an awesome show.”
It will also be one for the history books. Not only will the expected crowd of 67,000 people dwarf the ACM Awards’ usual attendance of 12,000, but organizers are also hopeful it will set a Guiness World Record for the most attended live awards telecast in history.
“This event is going to be unlike any other,” said Neifeld.
The 50th Annual ACM Awards will take place Sunday, April 19, at 7 p.m. A limited number of tickets are still available at ticketmaster.com.