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AEG, TMG Bringing Kenny Chesney to BBVA May 22

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After dipping a couple of toes in with last summer's "Beat Down" hip-hop mini-fest, BBVA Compass Stadium is jumping into Houston's concert waters with both feet next May by welcoming Kenny Chesney's "The Big Revival" tour to the East End.

The show -- scheduled for Friday, May 22 -- was announced Wednesday morning at a press conference overlooking the BBVA pitch by Louis Messina, owner of The Messina Group, Chesney's principal tour promoters.

The show, also featuring Jake Owen and Chase Rice, will be Chesney's first show in Houston since the 2013 Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. The Tennessee-born singer, best-known for No. 1 country hits like "Come Over," "Somewhere With You" and "Out Last Night," also really loves the beach.

"I look at [the show] as the first day of summer, because Kenny is summertime," Messina said.

Messina has been one of the top promoters in the Southwest for nearly four decades. After moving to Houston, the New Orleans native co-founded Pace Concerts in 1975, and created iconic events such as the Texxas Jam and George Strait's Country Music Festival. In the late '90s, Pace was bought by SFX Entertainment, which itself was bought not long after by then-Clear Channel Communications, which created megapromoter Live Nation as its live-entertainment vehicle.

Meanwhile, in 2001 Messina formed The Messina Group, which booked shows at Warehouse Live and other local venues and partnered with L.A.-based entertainment conglomerate AEG to become the main tour promoter for a number of top country acts like Chesney; TMG relocated to Austin a few years back. Messina has also been named Promoter of the Year three times by the Academy of Country Music.

Chesney will be Messina's first major show at BBVA, but hopefully not the last, he said.

"This is going to the first of many concerts at this stadium," Messina promised.

Left almost unsaid was the kind of door the Chesney show could open. TMG is also the tour promoter for Eric Church and Taylor Swift, two major acts whose absence on Houston's concert horizon is more than a little conspicuous.

Tickets for the Chesney show go on sale at 10 a.m. next Friday, December 12, through bbvacompasstadium.com, axs.com (also RodeoHouston's new ticket provider) and by phone at 888-929-7849, as well as the BBVA box office in the stadium.

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