Latin music star Maluma’s Sept. 12 Pechanga Arena San Diego gig is dormant venue’s first new show of 2021
The Colombian reggaeton sensation’s concert is the first new arena show of 2021 to be announced in San Diego
The announcement that reggaeton-music star Maluma will perform Sept. 12 at Pechanga Arena San Diego is newsworthy for more than just musical reasons or his past collaborations with Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and Madonna.
Maluma’s concert, part of the U.S. leg of the Colombian singer’s Papi Juancho 2021 World Tour, is the first new 2021 concert to be announced at Pechanga Arena. It also appears to be the first major new concert by any pop artist, at any indoor or outdoor San Diego County venue, to be announced this year — as opposed to a concert that was postponed from 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
With the exception of drive-in performances, no ticketed concerts or live events are currently allowed under San Diego County and California state health regulations. Even so, Maluma’s Pechanga Arena show will be a full-capacity performance. All 13,500 tickets will go on sale Friday, apart from those allotted to a Maluma fan club pre-sale, which began today.
“The show’s promoter and Pechanga Arena San Diego understand that if local health guidelines do not allow for a full house on the event date, the show will be rescheduled,” said Kristi Reedy, the venue’s marketing director, in response to questions from the Union-Tribune.
“Pechanga Arena San Diego continues to work with event organizers and promoter partners in anticipation of a return of live events. This includes the advance sale of tickets for future events that are being scheduled.”
The concert and live events industry came shuddering to a halt last March because of the pandemic. As a result, lost 2020 income in the U.S. alone was estimated to exceed $9 billion, with losses of about $16 billion in the rest of the world.
On Jan. 29, the 2021 editions of both the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals in Indio were canceled outright, after being postponed from last April to last October to this April. Also canceled were the 2020 editions of two San Diego festivals, KAABOO and Wonderfront.
In an October Union-Tribune article, the majority of concert and festival experts interviewed predicted that their industry would not be able to fully return to normal until 2022, although some held out hope a partial reopening of their industry could begin in late summer or early fall. It remains to be seen if the timing of Maluma’s 23-city U.S. arena tour, which is scheduled to open Sept. 2 in Sacramento and conclude Oct. 24 in Chicago, will be propitious or premature.
The tour is being produced by Cardenas Marketing Network, which in a statement said that it “will follow and comply with recommendations and guidelines imposed by governmental authorities and public health departments.”
As of this writing, the first scheduled concert this year at Pechanga Arena is a performance by James Taylor and Jackson Browne on May 29 — one year to the day from their postponed 2020 concert at the same venue. The original concert was part of Taylor’s joint tour with Browne, who was later diagnosed with COVID-19.
Regardless of the timing, Pechanga Arena — which for decades was known as the San Diego Sports Arena — is eager to resume operations with new health measures in place that could serve as a template for other concert and live events venues. The venue is operated by ASM Global, which is co-owned by AEG, the producer of the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals. ASM Global was selected last August by then-San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to build a new arena and create an entertainment district on the 48-acre city site that houses Pechanga Arena.
“When Pechanga Arena receives approval from our local health officials to reopen, we will be deploying VenueShield, ASM Global’s comprehensive and industry-leading reopening program,” Reedy, the San Diego venue’s marketing director, said. "... Rest assured that all policies will be aligned with — and informed by — public health authorities, medical and industry experts.”
Tickets for Maluma are priced from $55.50 to $406.50 each. They go on sale to the general public Friday at 10 a.m. at axs.com.
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