At the Sept. 5 announcement that Monster Jam World Finals XX would take place at Camping World Stadium in Orlando are Allen Johnson, Orlando Venues; City Commissioner Regina Hill; Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer; Monster Jam driver Candice Jolly; Kenneth Feld, chairman and CEO, Feld Entertainment; driver Bari Musawwir; Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs; Orange County Commissioner Victoria Siplin; Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine; Jason Siegel, Central Florida Sports Commission; and drivers Ryan and Adam Anderson. (Courtesy Feld Entertainment)
ELLENTON, Fla. — For the first time in its history, Feld Entertainment has put one of its marquee events, Monster Jam World Finals, out to bid and selected Orlando as host for 2019 and 2020. The process is already underway to accept bids for the next five years (2021-25) of World Finals, said Feld Entertainment’s Jeff Meyer, senior vice president of marketing and sales. The 2019 World Finals May 10-11 at Camping World Stadium will be the 20th anniversary of the event.
The decision to move to a bid process for the World Finals was predicated on the popularity of the event, its unprecedented growth since Feld Entertainment bought Live Nation Motorsports in 2008 (the 10th anniversary of that event will be showcased in the November VenuesNow magazine), and its proven economic impact.
Monster Jam World Finals had traditionally been in Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium. During a Monster Jam season kickoff event Tuesday night here at Feld Entertainment Studios, it was also announced that Monster Jam will introduce its first All-Star Challenge, which will be held at Sam Boyd Stadium, so that venue and those local fans will see Monster Jam twice in the 2020 season. Whether the All-Star Challenge will be one of those marquee events put out to bid in the future is to be determined.
Juliette Feld addresses uber fans and media at the season kickoff. (VenuesNow)
The All Star Challenge will be held Oct. 11-12. There will be 24 competitors and two teams, and fan votes will determine the winner. Feld Entertainment’s Juliette Feld also promised there will be a new track layout.
Monster Jam World Finals XX will come complete with lots of ancillary events for the expected influx of fans and tourists. Plans are still being laid out, but there is talk of hosting a awards ceremony off site at CityWalk at Universal Studios, for instance, Meyer said. While the event is set for May 10-11, they are also in the market May 9.
One of the most appealing aspects of Orlando’s bid to host the Monster Jam World Finals for those on the production and performance side of Feld Entertainment was the ability to bring the trucks into the stadium from the top of the seating bowl. To that end, seats in one end zone will be removed and a dirt ramp installed to allow the dramatic effect of Monster Trucks barreling down onto the stadium floor.
Meyer said that when Feld Entertainment opted to put Monster Jam World Finals XX out to bid, they reached out to the top 15 markets for bids. He also gave early heads ups to several stadium managers, including members of the Gridiron Network, letting them know that “we will create an opportunity to bid on certain marquee events.”
The entire central Florida region, from city and county leaders to the Central Florida Sports Commission, were involved in securing Monster Jam World Finals XX for Orlando.
Out of the gate, the gross potential is double the 2018 number in Las Vegas simply because Camping World Stadium has twice the number of available seats at 50,000.
In attendance at the Monster Jam season preview at Feld Entertainment Studios in Ellenton, Fla., are Kirk Wingerson and Craig Borkon, Orlando Venues; Angie Richison, director of marketing, Feld Entertainment; and Kevin Brown, Orlando Venues. (Linda Deckard/VenuesNow)
Meyer was also pleased to see the considerable fan support already. Registration for presales went up on Ticketmaster through its Verified Fan program and 2,200 transactions were recorded, representing about 8,000 tickets on hold, in eight days. Presale to preferred customers starts Oct. 16, and on sale to the public starts Nov. 1.
Orlando will benefit from the intense promotional efforts, including at every Feld Motor Sports event, touting Monster Jam World Finals XX in Orlando, he said. Jason Seigel of the Central Florida Sports Commission noted it has been proved that fans attending a marquee event like this stay an average of an additional 1.5 nights in Orlando because of all the attractions in the area.
Monster Jam World Finals XX will feature all-new competition formats, including the elevated starting line above the seats and seven championship crowning moments. Access to Monster Jam athletes and the trucks they drive will be enchanced even beyond the established Pit Party.
Drivers and hosts line up for the Monster Jam season debut announcements, livestreamed from Feld Entertainment Studios in Ellenton, Fla. Feld is emphasizing the athletes and the sporting competition inherent in Monster Jam contests. (VenuesNow)
Camping World Stadium is owned and operated by the city of Orlando. Since opening in 1936 as a Works Progress Administration project by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at a cost of $115,000 and a capacity of 8,900, the stadium has undergone numerous expansions and name changes over the years. The historic venue underwent a massive $207.7 million reconstruction in 2014, which yielded 90 percent all-new construction and a completely modernized stadium.
The city and its partners at Florida Citrus Sports expect that reconstruction to generate a $300 million annual economic impact.