On Your Side: Bass Pro Shops apologizes for Garth Brooks concert problems; ‘Will make it right’

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 5:57 PM CDT
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RIDGEDALE, Mo. (KY3) - Garth Brooks fans who had problems at the Thunder Ridge Nature Arena concerts are getting an apology.

After this On Your Side report, Bass Pro managers told us they’ll make it right. While thousands of concert-goers arrived early and had no problems, other fans told us they never made it inside or arrived at the very end of the concert because of traffic and shuttle problems.

There were also complaints from people with a disability.

Bass Pro leaders agreed to talk about those concerns on camera with KY3′s Ashley Reynolds.

“Overall, it was an incredible event to open a brand new arena, to have 80,000 fans see one of the most incredible iconic artists like Garth Brooks,” said Jeff Wilhoit.

Wilhoit has worked for Bass Pro Shops for more than 25 years. He says to pull off these concerts, they hired an outside company.

“We hired a company called ASM Global. They do large events all over the country,” said Wilhoit.

Wilhoit says ASM Global also works with FEMA. When the hurricane hit Florida, FEMA took most of the shuttles meant for the concert.

“We had to scramble just to find some on Friday night. We would never encourage anyone to walk down Highway 86,” he said.

Wilhoit saw this video from our story. Two ladies with walkers who needed help.

“It’s heartbreaking, honestly. It’s hard to know what to say to those folks. There were people that absolutely, it was a challenge on Friday night. It’s heartbreaking to watch those folks. Especially the ADA folks who had a hard time getting in. Again, for the vast majority of people, it was not only an amazing concert, it was the concert of a lifetime,” said Wilhoit.

Wilhoit added this was a learning experience, and the facility will improve.

“Anytime you open something brand new, especially an arena of this size, you are going to have challenges,” he said.

Reynolds said during the interview, “There are thousands of families who spent a lot of money that night to never even get in the venue. What do you want to say to them?” she asked.

“I want to apologize. We are extremely sorry that they didn’t. For the vast majority, lots of people had an incredible time. You can tell by that aerial picture there were 20,000 people that had an incredible time. But for those folks that were not able to make it in, especially on Friday night when we had challenges, we are definitely sorry about that,” he said.

Reynolds replied, “To those families, I think they would follow up and ask, what are you doing to make it right?”

“We will make it right with folks. If they were not able to get in or got in the last song or something, we want to make it right with people. Johnny Morris is not in the business to scam people out of money. Thunder Ridge is in a not-for profit. (The) Johnny Morris Foundation and all the money raised from that concert goes back to conservation,” said Wilhoit.

Here are some options to request a refund.

Call Ticketmaster 1-800-653-8000 Option 3.

File a claim. Expect to be on hold. Have your order number and credit card info handy.

Big Cedar: tel:1-800-225-6343, BigCedar@Big-Cedar.com

File a dispute with your credit card.

This could take up to 90 days. Have documents to prove your experience.

ADA, file complaint: https://beta.ada.gov/file-a-complaint/

Missouri Attorney General, file complaint: https://ago.mo.gov/app/consumercomplaint

MoDOT, report road concern: https://www.modot.org/report-road-concern

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com