CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Amid numerous cancellations due to the pandemic, the American Bank Center steadily is returning to live performances in a new way.
As KRIS 6 News previously reported, the venue eventually found a unique solution for those still interested in some degree of live entertainment — live outdoor pod concerts.
Those interested in attending can join by purchasing either four or six tickets at a time.
Each pod comes with either a VIP table or a set amount of chairs with a rack barrier, so there is space between pods.
The first show using this arrangement, the Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular, was held last week at the Watergarden. American Bank Center General Manager Matt Blasy said, for a convention center that hasn’t held a major performance since March, it's a step in the right direction.
“Event venues are definitely adapting to the times and coming up with different concepts,” he said. “We did our first set of events last weekend (and there was) tremendous feedback from the patrons and artists alike. We’re really excited about being able to put on events again, and obviously, safety and health are a top priority in doing so.”
Even with news that a COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in Corpus Christi as early as December, Blasy said it’s likely the ABC's pod system will stick around for some time.
“This could carry some momentum into 2021,” he said. “While things are looking up from a vaccine, we feel — for the next 6 to 8 months — outdoor events are going to be where it’s at in regards to hosting events with the open space.”
Although the Watergarden — which is owned by the city of Corpus Christi — is just steps away from the American Bank Center, Blasy said these pod concerts are the first time they’ve used that area.
“All things considered, we’re very fortunate that that the city of Corpus Christi has allowed us to utilize this space," he said. "It’s a very unique setting, right on the water. (We’re) trying to make the best of it and looking, really, to start utilizing Watergarden park long-term, too."
In addition to providing live entertainment, Blasy said another advantage of pod concerts is that they’re allowing people to return to work.
“It’s been very difficult, like it is a lot of other places,” he said. “We want to do these social distancing events as long as we can. . . . respecting the guidelines that we have in place, understanding that — these employees that we have here at the American Bank Center worked tremendously hard to put these events on. We can only continue to keep doing it if all the cooperation is there from everybody that walks into the Watergarden park.”