Noblesville businesses discuss success thanks to top amphitheater Ruoff Music Center


Ruoff Music Center in Noblesville led the world in concert attendance this season, according to Pollstar’s year-end issue of amphitheater attendance. Not surprisingly, the venue’s success in drawing large crowds provides a lift to some nearby businesses.

The Ruoff Music Center recently announced via social media that it ranked first out of 100 amphitheaters worldwide for tickets sold and ranked third for amphitheaters for gross sales in Pollstar’s year-end issue. Pollstar is a trade publication for the concert and live music industry.

Managers of nearby businesses said Ruoff Music Center’s success each year is good for business.

Jason Boyer, senior manager of BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse in Noblesville, said the staff looks forward to the concert season because of an anticipated boost in customer traffic. The restaurant is five minutes from the music center.

“I track when the (concert) contracts get announced and when they’re coming and I get a file together (to be best prepared to provide service),” Boyer said.

Boyer said more people visit the brewhouse prior to shows than they did in 2018, when he started working there. He said business is especially brisk when high-profile artists perform at Ruoff Music Center.

Jeff Troyer, general manager for Ford’s Garage Noblesville, said the concert season also gives his restaurant a boost, including in alcohol sales. The restaurant, which is five minutes away from the music center, has seen business increase since 2021.

“We honestly didn’t know until 2022 what a full-on concert season was going to look like in 2022, 2023, which is awesome,” Troyer said. “They always are (awesome) for us. We plan our summers around the concerts we have.”

Troyer also said Ruoff Music Center is good for Noblesville as a whole.

“Ruoff brings notoriety to Noblesville, in this area,” Troyer said. “I mean, Ruoff is known nationally, it just won the amphitheater award, but they’ve been known for a while, back since (when) they were Deer Creek. People travel to come to Ruoff. It’s something amazing that we have right here in this little area.”

Kelly Sujka is the regional director of sales for Sun Development and Management and has responsibility for managing hotels, including the Embassy Suites by Hilton Noblesville Indianapolis Conference Center, which is five minutes from the amphitheater.

Sujka said the hotel always rents more rooms during the concert season.

“We’ve seen some record numbers of sell dates during those concerts during the concert schedule,” Sujka said. “And then it also drives revenue for our hotel, for our restaurants, our bar.”

Occupancy for the hotel is driven by the popularity of the performers, Sujka said. In 2023, the hotel established a post-show menu for guests at hotel restaurants and bars.

Sujka said when Ruoff Music Center releases its schedule, the hotel establishes rates to protect its inventory during the summer.

Sujka said she and Andrew Newport, regional vice president of operations at Live Nation, speak on a regular basis and arrange for crews and VIPs from Live Nation venues to sometimes stay at the hotel.

“I think just the overall partnership that we’ve built not only for the concert goers but for the artists and the crews that stay here, you know, that’s a tremendous revenue generator as well,” Sujka said. “Sometimes we’ll get the crews that will come in a day or two before the concert, and they need to do sound checks and stage setups and things like that. So, just having that partnership with Ruoff has been extremely beneficial and we’ll continue to have that moving forward.”

Thirteen performances are currently scheduled for Ruoff Music Center in 2024, including Niall Horan; the Red Hot Chili Peppers; Earth, Wind & Fire and Chicago; and Creed, among others.

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