Get a Fifties Fix, Rock Out or Salsa at the SWFL Casino, Sports Park

A year and a half of concert dryness will end in a downpour.

Saxophone star Kenny G. Rockers Blue Öyster Cult. Crooner Bobby Rydell and his Fifties buddies Frankie Avalon and Fabian. Country star Clint Black. Sixties pop favorite Peter Noone with Herman’s Hermits. And there’s more in the Seminole Casino Immokalee concert hall. (A full list appears in the box that accompanies this story.)

Food, music news:Ben Allen talks about new restaurant in East Naples with a tropical atmosphere vi

The Paradise Coast Sports Complex on Collier Boulevard in Naples opens its concert season with just one show. But it’s a big one: the Ben Allen Band, whose lead singer fought his way into the top 5 on “The Voice” in autumn 2020 and played his fame in a pub & grill in Naples that is soon to be opened.

Every generation gets a show

For Seminole Casino Immokalee, it has always been on their websites to bring more name entertainment.

“Even before the pandemic, I believe we were always well positioned as the # 1 entertainment destination in southwest Florida,” said Mike Warren, vice president of marketing for the casino. “Over the years I’ve been here we’ve kept adding to the frequency of the shows and even the types of shows we have on.”

The COVID-19 pandemic stopped this development. But this month the ZigZag Lounge is again offering live entertainment almost every evening, and this fall and winter there are 10 name concerts for the concert hall, the Seminole Center, on the program.

“We’ve added more entertainment here year after year, so I assume it will continue like this,” he said. “Even in the months that we were closed, we planned 2022 as if it was going to happen. We still have a lot to do.”

The venue had already filled its outdoor parking lot for Starlight shows with Olivia Newton-John and KC and the Sunshine Band. It had public shows in its 836-seat indoor hall, Seminole Center, as well as high-profile private shows for its club members with stars like Wynonna and Electric Light Orchestra.

The arrangement of the stars appears to span a 40-year scale – 1950s to 1990s. But Warren says the casino didn’t try to offer generation-based entertainment.

“It’s not really intended. We try to deliver what we believe there is an appetite for – not just our customers, but the community. We really consider entertainment to be something we offer Southwest Florida. ”Emphasizes. “It’s not just for casino entertainment. We’re a real venue here.”

Stars surprise in intimate surroundings

What Warren particularly appreciates about the Seminole Center is the intimacy of the room: “It’s like being in the ‘orchestra’ section for every seat.”

It is difficult for him to choose his own favorite: “I mainly notice the ones that I didn’t know so well before, but then you see them on stage and are blown away.”

“Wynonna just does an exemplary show. And I hadn’t seen her until she put on a show here, ”Warren said. And he called Dionne Warwick “just extraordinary. Sing your way through the whole show. And she had such chemistry with the audience that she was amazed. It was almost magical, the night it performed here.

“Even her tour manager who was with her said she was on Cloud Nine at this venue and with her audience.”

“I found that out on Here Come the Mummies. I’d never heard of them,” said Cathy Baker, advertising and public relations manager. The 11-piece band with their grave cover costumes and highly instrumented arrangements was a hit with her. “I thought, ‘I LOVE your music!’ You put on such a good show. ”

But she admitted that with their disco era, KC and the Sunshine Band were a sentimental favorite. “And they were with The Village People. It was so good.”

The casino also caters to a specialized audience. The Cuban-born salsa sweetheart Rey Ruiz is actually the first of his public concerts, here on October 16, and is expecting such a crowd for the merengue salsa stars Elvis Crespo and Charlie Cruz on November 13 that the concert will be outdoors takes place where the venue seats 3,000 – and possibly a few impromptu dancers.

Another popular special concert is for Vietnamese music audiences, and a Bao Gió Em Mói Hiéu (I’m New to You) concert is free, but the 10pm show on October 9 is open to wild card members of the casino.

“So much of Southwest Florida is so scattered. We’re moving from what must be 100 miles off the west coast of Florida, from Marco Island to Port Charlotte and Venice,” Warren said. “There are a lot of people who appreciate Vietnamese music, but it’s just so scattered.

“We cross a lot of categories, but we have a lot of different preferences for live music here,” he said. “We’re always looking in the comedy category.”

The casino’s first show since reopening was Comedian, a private database member show starring Rodney Carrington. It has also attracted illusionists.

Biggest show to date: An outdoor rockabilly show and festival with art, vintage cars, food and at least a dozen bands. It drew between 10,000 and 12,000 visitors, which, according to Warren, “was a real surprise hit for us”. A previous salsa concert by Crespo also brought strong ticket sales, he said.

It’s 45 minutes to Immokalee from Naples, the closest city, so concert goers might be looking for a restaurant. There are a number of restaurants in Immokalee, from Italian to Mexican to Chinese. For those who want to dine in the casino, there is the EE-TO-LEET-KE Grill and First Street Deli, as well as a cappuccino stand.

However, all three are strictly walk-up.

“I wouldn’t show up 45 minutes in front of the curtain. You probably won’t get full in time and walk out the door, ”Warren warned. Ninety minutes before the show is a better bet, he suggested.

Ben Allen Show is a Christmas party

It’s not necessarily a July 4th concert. The Ben Allen Band, whose star outlasted a number of participants in NBC’s “The Voice”, ensured that their show at the Paradise Coast Sports Complex enriched the holiday weekend without disrupting the fireworks night in Collier County.

MORE:Ben Allen talks about his time on ‘The Voice’ in 2021

And also a resort:Great Wolf Resorts, Collier begins negotiations near the complex

It’s the stadium’s opening show, and management is bringing food trucks and drinks stalls to keep the crowd happy after the gates open at 6. $ 100 VIP tickets offer a deck view with a private bar, two free drinks, and a buffet dinner.

That’s just the beginning, says Jeff Walters, business development manager. Negotiations are ongoing for two more concerts that he says will have national star power for next fall, but the names cannot be revealed yet. The complex has launched a newsletter – visitors to its website can subscribe – which keeps concert lovers informed.

If you’ve never been to the complex before, Walters said, it’s easy to get a firsthand preview of the layout. The Cove, a place with fountains, shade, a walk around the lake, and seating near a children’s play area, is open. There is a bar and it’s pleasantly lively on the weekends between 6pm and 9pm.

“We still have entertainment Friday and Saturday nights and there is at least one food truck there,” he said.

Harriet Howard Heithaus reports on arts and entertainment for the Naples Daily News / naplesnews.com. You can reach them at 239-213-6091.

Concert lineups

Seminole Casino Immokalee

Rey Ruiz: Oct 16, $ 16. Tickets go on sale on June 17th

Here come the mummies: Oct 22, $ 45

Clint Black: Oct 30 $ 79 $

Elvis Crespo and Charlie Cruz: November 13th. Outdoor venue. Entry is at 6:00 p.m. $ 89 VIP, $ 49 general admission

Hermans Einsiedler with Peter Noone in the lead role: 12th of December. $ 79

Blue oyster Cult: February 12th. $ 79

Golden boys: Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell. March 4th $ 129

The guess who: 19th March. $ 79

Kenny G: April 3: $ 119

Paradise Coast Sports Complex

The complex is located at 3940 City Gate Blvd. N., Naples. Call 239-254-8242 for information or visit sportsforceparksnaples.com

Ben Allen Band: 8 p.m. July 3rd. Doors open at $ 10, $ 20, $ 40 and suite levels at $ 100. Note: Parking is USD 10 and only available with a credit card.

Your dream concert

Some of us – no names mentioned – would love to go to George Thorogood and the Destroyers on stage, indoors or outdoors. But who is on the ticket you would buy?

Tell us your favorite concert artist and why – maybe a favorite song or performance style – for our Southwest Florida music wishlist. Please send your concert artist or the artists on the wish list an email to features@naplesnews.com with the subject: My concert star

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