U2, other concerts expected to bring $1 million to Cleveland

CLEVELAND– Big concerts in downtown Cleveland during the Fourth of July holiday weekend are expected to have a million-dollar economic impact as crowds flock to the city.

About 12,000 people are expected to attend the free Star-Spangled Spectacular concert by the Cleveland Orchestra, followed by fireworks Friday night. Food trucks will be on hand at 6 p.m. with the concert beginning at 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, New Kids on the Block will be performing at Quicken Loans Arena Friday night, along with Boys II Men and Paula Abdul.

The stage was being set for the sellout U2 concert at First Energy Stadium Saturday. About 51,000 people are expected to attend the group’s last Joshua Tree Tour stop in the United States before the band heads to Europe.

More than half of ticket sales came from people outside of Northeast Ohio.

“Michigan, Indiana, Pittsburgh. We have people coming in from Europe, as well,” said Barry Gabel, with Live Nation Cleveland. He recommended that concert goers arrive early and be prepared for long security lines.

Destination Cleveland reported nearly all of the hotels in downtown Cleveland and Independence were sold out. It estimated the economic impact to soar past $1 million.

“It generates a lot of revenue you wouldn't normally expect,” said James Pintiello, chef at Nuevo Modern Mexican and Tequila Bar on the 9th Street Pier.

He said Nuevo expects to double its usual business Saturday, with U2 playing nearby.

“We have over 300 reservations on the books, and we'll probably do double that on walk-ins,” he said.

It’s just the start for major summer concerts. Billy Joel is set to play a sold-out concert at Progressive Field on July 14, to be followed by a Luke Bryan show at the ballpark the following night.

“It really does have an impact on the spending in our community,” Gabel said.