Arena hosting ‘monster’ of a show

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What’s big and loud and at the top of a lot of little boys’ Christmas lists?

Monster trucks — and they will be here Saturday night at the Covington Center Arena as the trucks hit the clay as part of California’s “Outlaw Monster Trucks Motorsports Spectacular.”

Ron Woodbridge, chief operating officer of PMTRA-Outlaw Motorsports, heard about the Covington County facility through the “grapevine,” and after visiting he realized the community was a good match for the show.

“Part of my job is to find venues for the show,” Woodbridge said. “I’d been talking with folks in other markets about new venues and heard about Andalusia. It’s an excellent facility, and the community looked like a good match for us, so we booked it.”

Woodbridge said the show will not only feature performances from “the world champion ‘Bounty Hunter’ and ‘Iron Outlaw’ driven by Jimmy Creeten, the top monster truck driver in the world,” but also a chance for local tough trucks, quad racers and motorcycle racers to have the opportunity to compete with their vehicles.

“It’s a fun, family-oriented evening of racing,” Woodbridge said. “These trucks perform on the national televised circuit. They’re on SpeedVision every week, competing in various parts of the nation each week.”

The two-and-a-half-hour show will also feature performances by other trucks and drivers, including Pensacola, Fla., driver Jimmy Jack and his truck “Reptoid,” he said.

The show begins at 7:30 p.m., but gates open at 6 p.m. for a free-with-admission “pre-pit party” for audience members to meet the drivers, take photographs and get autographs, Woodbridge said.

Tickets are $12 for children; $17 for adults and reserved seating, $25, and are available at NAPA Auto Parts and at the door.

Woodbridge said he expects a “good crowd” for the show.

“Typically from a 30-mile radius, we can draw thousands of people,” he said. “This is our first time in Andalusia, so we’ll have to see.”

The show is the first production of its kind since the county commission leased the facility to Don and Renee Bullard this June. Bullard said Tuesday he continues to seek out a variety of entertainment options for the people of Covington County.

“We’ve been working to make sure the equestrian events keep coming, and I think we have that locked up,” he said. “But we do have other stuff in the making. We’re still trying to get the promotion part (of the facility) down and we’re not through with the things we need at the facility needed to have the concerts and things like that. We’re getting there, but it’s a slow go.

“This event Saturday, they’re coming from out west,” he said. “We just rented the building to them, but it is something different that we could bring to the area. I hope the community comes out and sees what it’s all about.”