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As CEO of AEG Presents Rocky Mountains, Chuck Morris has spent nearly five decades booking Colorado concert venues. But with the last years of his career upon him, the 74-year-old decided he could bolster his legacy by building one. Not just any music hall, mind you—Morris, aided by AEG co-presidents Don Strasburg and Brent Fedrizzi, envisioned one of the city’s finest performance spots. On August 7, he’ll achieve his goal when 60,000-square-foot Mission Ballroom opens in Elyria-Swansea for a show from the Lumineers. Here, we detail why it’s a superior setting for live tunes.
A rafflelike program—similar to the one popularized by Phish—will prevent scalpers and bots from buying up all the tickets before the general public’s internet browsers can even load. Called Mission Fair Ticketing, it involves a dayslong reservation period during which fans put down credit card info for the chance to snag as many as four tickets. Mission Ballroom randomly draws the winners and automatically charges their cards.
If a show doesn’t sell out, the empty space can ruin a venue’s acoustics. Mission Ballroom is the only Denver concert hall to employ a system that can wheel the stage forward and backward to fit the room to that night’s audience, from 2,500 to 3,950 attendees.
In Full View
Portland-based Works Progress Architecture designed an open dance floor in front of the stage and 2,000 tiered seats to limit the number of inhibited sightlines. To be sure, they tested every vantage point using a computer-generated model.
Germany’s D&B Audiotechnik recently unveiled a sound system outfitted with noise-canceling technology that reduces the amount of music that escapes from the backs and sides of speakers. Mission Ballroom is the first venue in this country to use the tech, which better projects tunes toward the audience instead of letting the sound go in unintended directions (where it becomes muddled noise).
Mission Ballroom will anchor the North Wynkoop District, a 14-acre mixed-use development from Denver’s Westfield Company. The site eventually will host shopping and upscale restaurants and is only a five-minute walk from RTD’s 38th and Blake station, making Mission Ballroom one of the few Mile High City venues that’s easily accessible via light rail.
The concert hall will house eight permanent installations from local creators, including three neon sculptures by Scott Young. Plus, as part of an ongoing partnership with the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design, student works will be showcased in the lobby.