CARBONDALE, IL (WSIL) - We all know the Banterra Center is the home for the SIU women's and men's basketball teams, but it was once the place to go to see some of the best entertainment acts of their time.
“Southern Illinois has a rich tradition of hosting musical acts,” said the chief executive for marketing and communications for SIU, Jim Potter. “We're really excited to be bringing concerts back to the Banterra Center.”
From Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band in the early 80s, to bands like Bush, No Doubt, and the Goo Goo Dolls in the mid-90s, people would come to expect some of the top acts coming to the area.
“There was a pretty big dry spell between the latest ones as well, our heyday was more in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s, and then took a step back from it for almost 10 years,” said Potter.
All that will soon change after Monday's announcement of the return of concerts to the Banterra Center.
“On Aug. 3 the summer on the outskirts tour with Sam Hunt and his special guests Brett Young and Lily Rose will be live at Banterra,” said Potter.
The Hunt concert in August is just one part of a long-term goal of the university to bring entertainment back to the Center.
“Chancellor [Austin A.] Lane joined the university in 2020 and he did a pretty extensive listening and learning tour and heard very loud and clear from the community and the alumni,” said Potter.
What Chancellor Lane heard was how important events at the Banterra Center are to the region and the alumni.
“This actually falls into two of the objective that we have within the branding and partnerships pillars,” said Potter.
Those pillars are a better collaboration with the city of Carbondale and the region as well as building a stronger relationship with the school's alumni.
“We really feel the concerts are one of the tactics we have to really help us achieve those objectives,” said Potter.
Potter says all types of entertainment are being considered. The university’s goal is to bring in acts that will attract the most people.
“We're really thrilled to be bringing concerts back to SIU,” said Potter.