With only a week before Club Nomadic kicks off a three-night run of big-time Super Bowl parties, Jack Murphy was eager to show off the temporary Sawyer Yards venue Thursday morning. But the best news the Club Nomadic president had to share came nonchalantly during a tour of the multi-level nightclub: He's releasing 1,200 more tickets to the previously sold-out Bruno Mars concert on February 3.
The tickets, priced at $225 each, will go on sale Saturday at tickemaster.com. Murphy said the extra tickets became available after he figured the final configuration of the venue would allow in more fans. Tickets also remain available for Sam Hunt and The Chainsmokers concert on February 2 (general admission $100 each).
Having such sponsors as EA Sports (Sam Hunt/TheChainsmokers), Pepsico (which will debut its LIFEWTR brand at the Bruno Mars concert), and AT&T/DirecTV (which hosts a February 4 concert featuring Taylor Swift for clients and the singer's fans who have won tickets in special drawings), largely foots much of the bill of construction of the temporary venue. In return the corporations will get the second and third levels to entertain VIP clients amid the plush surroundings of speakeasy suites with table service for a "white glove experience" and low noise level.
"You can have a conversation," Murphy explained. "A lot of people are doing business here."
But the Super Bowl party veteran saved his real excitement for the venue's first floor, which will hold several thousand concertgoers in a standing-room-only situation. "They're the true fans," Murphy said, noting the energy and excitement they provide. "They're part of something elevated so it's not just another festival."
Around six weeks ago, when CultureMap first visited the site, it was an empty lot with a newly poured concrete floor, and we, like others, were skeptical that Murphy could pull it off. But now that construction is close to completion, the 62,500-square-foot temporary aluminum shed fits in with the neighborhood's funky buildings and the interior is spacious enough that it looks like it can accommodate the expected 9,000 fans each of the three nights.
There's still a lot of work to be done on the interior, but it seems doable. While noise now reverberates through the open spaces, Murphy expects that 7-1/2 miles of timber on the mezzanine levels, other natural materials and the large crowd will absorb sounds, making for pitch-perfect concert acoustics.
A 190-foot video wall will flash images behind the main stage. With different configuration each of the three nights, "it will look like a different room every night," Murphy said.
Modern art work will fill the entry and colorful images will reflect through the exterior, which is made polycarbonate plastic material so that colorful images and video mapping can be flashed across the front entrance at Edwards street.
The one imponderable that has everyone involved collectively holding their breath is the parking situation. Murphy and Susan Christian, executive director of the Mayor's Office of Special Events, emphasized that there will be no place to park for concert-goers, with only limited traffic allowed on Edwards street in front of the venue.
Attendees are encouraged to park in a large garage at 1600 Smith in downtown Houston, where regular shuttles will bring them to the venue. Sponsors from out-of-town will be shuttled from hotels. Uber and other ride-share services will have an expanded presence in the area, with specially marked areas for drop off and pick up.
Message boards have already gone up in the area warning drivers of delays. More details will be released in the next few days as the city signs off on the final traffic management plan.
As soon as the Swift concert ends and guests leave Club Nomadic, Murphy and his crew will begin the process of dismantling the building, which will take around 30 days, he said. It will be stored for use at Super Bowl LII in Minnesota next year.