Why Bruce Springsteen? Why 1st Mariner Arena? Why now? Here's the backstory.
It's a concert that was six years in the making.
That's how long Frank Remesch, the general manager of 1st Mariner Arena, has been fighting to get Bruce Springsteen to play here. He came close a couple times, but Bruuuce always ended up playing Verizon Center or another arena.
Recently, when promoters and booking agents were plotting Springsteen's 31-date tour, there was a vague possibility The Boss might come to 1st Mariner.
But Remesch didn't tell anyone -- not even the 1st Mariner staff. He didn't want to get anybody's hopes up, and he thought if he told someone, that might jinx it.
"It's bad luck," Remesch said. "It's like baseball when you don't walk on the foul line."
Springsteen has played around the region in the past. He performed at Painters Mill in Owings Mills in 1975. And he played at Towson University (back when it was Towson State) in 1977.
But believe it or not, Springsteen has never headlined 1st Mariner Arena. He and the rest of the E Street Band opened for Chicago in June 1973, but according to Remesch and a thorough search of the Baltimore Sun archives, Springsteen has never headlined the arena.
In fact, Springsteen hasn't performed in the city since the Chicago show in 1973 ...
"I've been trying to get him for so long," Remesch said. "He's an icon and he's never played the arena."
As of yesterday, Remesch still hadn't told anybody else at the arena about booking the Springsteen gig. He was planning on holding a big press conference and announcing it to the whole city. Then yesterday, when Remesch was on vacation, Springsteen's camp beat him to the punch.
Though Remesch is a little disappointed he didn't get to break the news, he's still pumped about the show. He puts Springsteen right up there with the Rolling Stones, who, coincidentally, played 1st Mariner in 2006. After 36 years, the Boss is finally coming back to Baltimore.
"That's the one I was going for," Remesch said. "That's the walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth. Now what do I do? How many big boys are left out there?"