ONTARIO - Another concert, another sellout.
On May 22, Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez sold out the Citizens Business Bank Arena and made the Billboard list for top admission sales the following week.
Steve Eckerson, general manager of the arena, was not surprised.
"We knew a long time ago this show would be right up there," Eckerson said in a recent interview. "It sold out so long ago."
For the week ending May 26, the Fernandez concert at Citizens Business Bank Arena was ranked No. 8 on the Top 10 North American Concert grosses.
The concert, with opening act Shaila Durcal, grossed $801,020, Billboard officials said in a release.
Fernandez's performance has opened the door to more acts, Eckerson said.
"I will tell you the success of Vicente has now led to four holes for further Hispanic-type artists. That's all I can tell you. Two of the four in the future are big stars ... I'm giving you more than I should."
The Fernandez concert was just one of several that have sold out at the arena.
Others included metal act Metallica, country singer Carrie Underwood, country singer Alan Jackson, pop artist Neil Diamond and the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers.
"Neil Diamond personally told me he really loved the arena," Eckerson said. "Gwen Stefani, who rehearsed here, well, we didn't get a show but she told me how much she liked the arena."
Eckerson said the biggest part of bringing top-notch recording acts to the arena is relationships.
"Truly all the acts today really have come through either our sister company AEG Live or Live Nation," he said.
Other entertainment events such as Disney Live! early this year and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, scheduled for July 29-Aug. 2, are "either past relationships or developing relationships with the Inland Empire, Ontario and the Citizens Business Bank Arena. The Inland Empire is known in the world of having all different types of entertainment."
This has been apparent, despite the poor economy.
"Truthfully, we all feel it," Eckerson said. "People are selective. But they've shown if it's an event they want to see, they'll wait a little longer to buy their ticket. To be honest, it depends on the event. Some are more walk-up oriented than others."
But the arena is not suitable to all acts.
"You look at the size of the arena, and first of all, it obviously doesn't have enough seats for mega stars," Eckerson said.
"And by that I would mean Bruce Springsteen, for example. There's not enough seats, there's not enough revenue potential to make the numbers work. You look at artists that will sell 6,000 to 10,000 tickets and that will meet the contract obligations."
There are also considerations of the local market, he said, but "personally I think this market will support anything."
"It's been proven for country," Eckerson said. "Neil Diamond, who is more pop or middle of the road, Metallica and Slipknot, who are heavy metal, and Vicente Fernandez."
The arena has lacked an alternative rock act, but "I'm optimistic that will be very successful here. We just haven't been able to land somebody. I work on all genres all the time," Eckerson said.
For the future, Eckerson wants to expand on what he has booked with "more concerts, obviously" and events like professional bull riding, a Los Angeles Kings game, mixed martial arts and more.
Eckerson said he thought the Total Nonstop Action wrestling show was successful, and that World Wrestling Entertainment will also make an appearance.
"We thought we had WWE in August, now it has been pushed back to spring," he said. "But they'll be here."
Officials do not see other concert venues, such as the Fox Theater in Pomona, as competition.
Arena spokeswomen Sue Oxarart said "we're really unique ... with the enclosed venue and number of seats and actually there are different ways the arena can be configured for different type of shows."
Oxarart said fans can take a look at the different types of shows upcoming by signing up on the arena's Web site for a monthly newsletter.
There is also a new feature where people, for $500 a year, can sign up to get the first opportunity to buy a seat for any ticketed event under "business opportunities" on the arena's Web site. The money does not go to the ticket price, officials said.
The American Idols Live! Tour 2009 - with Kris Allen, Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Anoop Desai, Danny Gokey, Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud, Megan Joy, Michael Sarver and Scott MacIntyre - will stop at the arena July 17.
A couple of million album-selling acts -- Earth, Wind and Fire and Chicago -- will appear July 22.
Tickets for both events are available now.
Also upcoming is comedian George Lopez on July 25.
Citizens Business Bank Arena upcoming concerts
American Idols Live! Tour 2009, July 17, 7 p.m.; tickets $68.50, $54.50, $39.50 plus fees.
Earth, Wind and Fire with Chicago, July 22, 7:30 p.m.; tickets $97, $65, $35, plus fees.