Def Leppard stops in Grand Rapids on nation wide tour

Van Andel Arena having a big 20th year

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The Van Andel Arena is coming up on its 20th anniversary this year. 

It's busiest time was 1998, when they hosted 208 shows, with 17 of those sold out. So far this year, there's been 69 shows and 11 have sold out.

Thousands of people were lining the outside of the Van Andel Arena waiting to see rock-and-roll icon Def Leppard, TESLA and REO Speedwagon.

Many said that they've been fans of the artists and the Van Andel, from the start.

"Yeah we're doing it, we haven't been here for ages. It's always been an amazing audience so we're really looking forward to that," Def Leppard lead guitarist Phil Collen said.

And Def Leppard's audience certainly felt the same.

"We're here for Def Leppard!"

"I remember when they're one CD came out, well back then it was an album," a long-time fan said.

Many remember when the Van Andel arena was first introduced to downtown Grand Rapids.

"Rush was the second band here, ever. It was October 1996."

They said the decision to build the arena in the heart of downtown was a game changer.

"When I was younger, there was nothing. (At) 5 o'clock everything was shut down but since the Van Andel, it's like happening downtown," another concert goer said.

"The Van Andel, what it's done to revitalize the city, it's been incredible so, it's awesome, we love it," another fan said.

And it's not just the sold out concerts that are home to the arena.

"We've done so much here with hockey games and everything else they bring on board so we're always down here for something," a fan said. "It's good seating, good view, there's not a bad seat in the house."

This October will mark 20 years since the arena first opened its doors. The first concert was back in 1996.

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© 2017 WZZM-TV


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