New Executive Director Of Bancorpsouth Arena Has Big Plans For Entertainment Complex

TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – The new leader for the region’s largest entertainment complex is on the job.

Doug Johnson has been the executive director of the Bancorpsouth Arena and conference center for about a month now.

He’s looking forward to helping the entertainment complex reach new heights.

“The prior directors here have done a phenomenal job putting the Bancorpsouth Arena on the map, what I need to do is tweak that and take it up a level,” Johnson said.

Johnson is a man on a mission. He wants to attract a wider variety of events to the arena and conference center.

Johnson comes to the Bancorpsouth Arena from Milwaukee, where he was vice president of sports and entertainment for the Wisconsin Center District. He wants to see more community involvement in the facility.

“This is a community asset and it has been looked at, as a community asset so we will continue that, bring people into our world and go out into their world, it mutually benefits the city of Tupelo and this region when we do things like that, we can all work together and do that moving forward,” Johnson said.

Johnson looks forward to booking meetings and other events at the newly expanded Conference Center. Work is complete on the 15 million dollar expansion and renovation project that doubles the meeting space, and also includes a VIP lounge and other attractions.

Although some concerts have been pushed back to the fall, Johnson and his staff are working hard, looking to book events that don’t require the full arena space and also looking to the future.

“Usually, we’re putting shows together, six months to a year out, the great thing about now, positive things, we can prepare something we couldn’t work on before, cause we were busy, every day, doing business, now we’ve been able to step back and focus on the things we need,” he said.

Before coming on board, Johnson says he asked promoters their thoughts on the Bancorpsouth Arena. He says their enthusiastic comments about the staff and facilities helped convince him to make the career move.

Some unique community events are expected to be announced in the next few weeks.

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