o’reilly family event center

Merle Haggard & Marty Stuart coming to O’Reilly Family Event Center Feb. 24

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 1, 2014 — Country Music Hall of Famer Merle Haggard will headline a concert in Springfield for the first time in more than 40 years when he takes the stage with his good friend Marty Stuart at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Feb. 24, 2015.

Tickets start at $54 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 5 online at www.drurytickets.com or by calling (417) 873-6389. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the OFEC box office, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard

Haggard is one of the architects of country music, with more than 40 No. 1 hits and scores of Top 10 singles. He helped create the twangy, stripped-down “Bakersfield Sound” in the 1960s and was one of the key voices in the Outlaw Country movement of the 1970s. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994, Haggard has influenced generations of songwriters in a career spanning decades.

Stuart broke out with a solo career in the 1990s after years as a stellar instrumentalist and sideman. Like Haggard, Stuart is a modern performer who carries on the tradition of classic country music. A member of the Grand Ole Opry, Stuart tours today with his backing band, the Fabulous Superlatives.

Touring as twin headliners, Haggard and Stuart have been playing sold-out shows and giving audiences what the Fort-Worth Star Telegram recently called “a satisfying one-two punch of traditional country music.”

For more information, visit www.merlehaggard.com and www.martystuart.net.

WATCH: Haggard performs “Workin’ Man Blues” with Stuart


Kids get free admission and special cheering section at basketball games

Wigs, boas, crazy hats, fake mustaches, pom poms and sunglasses are just some of the props that kids can use in the new Kids Corner section at Drury Basketball games. Not only is it fun, but’s also free.

Children 12 and under get into all Drury sporting events for free this this season, emphasizing Drury’s family-friendly environment. They must be accompanied by adult upon admission.

Similar to the Drury student section, the Kids Corner is a reserved area in the O’Reilly Family Event Center dedicated solely to kids ages 6 to 11, who are invited to cheer, hang out with friends, and even hold some of the giant posters of the players. Kids Corner allows parents to watch the game freely from their own seat and engages some of the younger audience members in their very own fan section.

Kids Corner

“As a parent, the biggest benefit for me is seeing the kids have fun and seeing a new and younger generation getting to enjoy the sport,” said Emily Givens, who supervises the section along with two other O’Reilly Center workers.

Janel Nibert, whose husband is a former DU basketball player, recently brought her two sons to a basketball game and they enjoyed the fun environment the Kids Corner.

“They had a great time — they dressed up in wigs and mustaches and, during a time out, they got to go on the court and shoot baskets,” she said. “I enjoyed watching them feel like they were a part of the game. I hope the 12 and under promotion brings in even more kids.”

Kids Corner D fence

The kids never have to worry about being too loud or “wild.” In fact, that is something the section encourages. They help with cheers and even get to go out on the floor and high-five the starting players. During the time outs, Drury cheerleaders will bring kids on court to dance to songs like “Shake It Off” and “Jump Around.”

“We want the whole event to be fun for kids and adults alike. The fun environment helps the players, too, and gets the team excited and more people in the stands,” Givens said. “It gives us a spirited stadium.”


Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, a senior English and writing major at Drury. A version of this story originally appeared in the Springfield News-Leader. 

Country singer Chris Young comes to OFEC on Nov. 22

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 2, 2014 —The O’Reilly Family Event Center and KTTS are pleased to announce country singer Chris Young, along with openers Lindsay Ell and the Mark Chapman Band, will perform at the venue on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 5 and will cost $39.50 each. Tickets are available online at www.drurytickets.com or by calling the OFEC box office at (417) 873-6389. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the box office, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

The Grammy-nominated Tennessee native has just released a brand new single titled “Lonely Eyes.” It’s the third single from his latest album, “A.M.” and follows Young’s sixth No. 1 single, “Who I Am With You.” Young has had a string of other No. 1 singles since 2009, including “You,” “Tomorrow,” “Voices,” and “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song).” His last two albums have each cracked the Top 5 of the Billboard Top 200 chart.

Chris Young

Young has toured with Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley, and was chosen by George Straight to open selected dates on the country legend’s “Cowboy Rides Away” farewell tour.

For more information about Young, visit: www.chrisyoungcountry.com. For more information about Lindsay Ell, visit: http://lindsayell.com.


Sheryl Crow will play at Drury on April 3 to benefit Drew Lewis

Springfield, Mo., Feb. 15, 2013 Nine-time Grammy Award-winning performer Sheryl Crow will be returning to the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Wednesday, April 3 to play a special concert for Springfieldian Drew Lewis as a fundraising benefit for Lewis and his continuing fight against colorectal cancer.

Sheryl Crow

Unlike her appearance in the summer of 2011 at the O’Reilly Center, this concert will a very intimate affair, as she will be performing an intimate acoustic set. Sheryl, a Kennett, Mo., native, has family ties to Lewis, and what started out as a few smaller fundraising ideas quickly developed over time into plans to hold this special performance.

Lewis is a 45-year-old Springfield real estate sales professional who has fought a long and courageous battle with colon cancer since being diagnosed in January of 2012. A father of two, Lewis’ plight has received national attention from various websites and media outlets from coast to coast.

Tickets – starting at $49 – will go on sale to the general public for this special evening with Crow on Thursday, February 21 at 10 a.m. They will be available at the O’Reilly Center box office, by calling (417) 873-6389 or by visiting www.drurytickets.com.

There are several events planned around Sheryl Crow’s concert, including a free community fair to raise colorectal cancer awareness on the North Plaza of the O’Reilly Center that evening from 5 to 7 p.m., featuring food and drink from assorted vendors and a live concert.

A live auction will also be held during the show, with several big-ticket items available.

There will be a limited number of VIP Experience tickets available for $250. These tickets will include seating in the first three rows on the floor and admittance to Crow’s sound check session as well as a Meet and Greet with Sheryl that includes food catered by Ristorante Nicola’s.

Sheryl, herself a breast cancer survivor, has garnered nine Grammy Awards and has sold more than 35 million Records worldwide.

Since the release of her seven-times Platinum, Grammy award-winning debut Tuesday Night Music Club, Sheryl Crow has garnered nine Grammys, performed duets with musical luminaries such as Sting and Mick Jagger, released seven studio albums (each charting Top 10, four of them platinum-plus), a quadruple-platinum greatest hits collection and a Christmas album. She has also been nominated for an additional 27 Grammys, her most recent for 2008’s critically acclaimed Detours. Crow launched her very own clothing line, Bootheel Trading Co., is a cancer survivor, has performed for President Obama and is a passionate supporter of a variety of environmental and health-related charities, including the NRDC, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and The World Food Program. Crow has sold more than 35 million records worldwide. Her new single, “Easy” is off her forthcoming Warner Music Nashville release out later this year.

All proceeds from the concert will benefit Lewis and his battle, with all services, facilities and talent donated or otherwise funded through donations.


Drury confers more than 600 degrees at spring graduation

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 12, 2012 —Drury University conferred degrees to more than 600 students today in spring graduation ceremonies at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

357 undergraduates joined 57 graduate students in the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) commencement at noon. 255 students in the traditional Day School received their bachelor’s degrees later in the afternoon.

A packed house in the O'Reilly Family Event Center

The president of The New American Colleges and Universities (NACU), Dr. Nancy Hensel, was the commencement speaker for both graduations. NACU is a consortium of 19 independent colleges and universities that blend liberal learning, professional studies and civic engagement. Prior to accepting the post at NACU, Hensel served as chief executive officer of the Council on Undergraduate Research in Washington D.C. for seven years.

Drury Class Flag 2012

“As you pursue success in your career, I hope you will also seek a balance between your work and your personal life,” said Dr. Hensel. “You are our social hope for the future, and I know that you are capable of meeting that responsibility.  My very best wishes to you for your success and happiness in your future.”

Media contact: Mark Miller, Associate Director of Marketing and Communication, Office: (417) 873-7390, Mobile: (417) 839-2886, E-mail: markmiller@drury.edu


Josh Turner to appear at Drury’s O’Reilly Family Event Center on Friday, June 15

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Presents:


With Special Guests:

Matt Stell and the Crashers
(Featuring Drury graduate Matt Stell)


The Mark Chapman Band

O’Reilly Family Event Center

Friday, June 15 at 7 PM

Tickets on sale Friday April 27 at 10 a.m.

Tickets start at $25 and are available at the O’Reilly Family Event Center Box Office, www.drurytickets.com or by phone at (417) 873-6389

Josh Turner

The Hannah, S.C. native has sold more than 5 million albums and garnered numerous multi-week number ones (“Your Man,” “Would You Go With Me,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” and “All Over Me”). Turner’s debut album, Long Black Train was certified platinum with more than 1 million copies sold, and his sophomore album, Your Man, was one of only 4 country albums to reach double-platinum status in 2006.

The debut single from his fourth album Haywire, “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” a 4-week number 1 hit was the most-played song on country radio in 2010, according to Mediabase. The song was number 3 on Billboard’s year-end Hot Country Songs list, followed immediately by “All Over Me” at number 4. “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” took home an American Country Award for Single of the Year-Male in December of the same year.

Scoring back-to-back number ones with his second single release from Haywire, “All Over Me,” made Turner one of only 7 country artists to have 2 number one hits in 2010.

Six years after his Grand Ole Opry debut, Turner was inducted into the prestigious organization, becoming one of the youngest artists to receive the honor.

Turner’s new single, “Time is Love” from his upcoming album Punching Bag was recently released to radio and is now available on iTunes.

“I don’t ever want to take anything for granted,” he says. “I’ve learned from certain people that it takes a lot of hard work, passion and love for what you do to have longevity in this career.”

For more information contact:  Dwight Glenn, Promoter, Dwight_Glenn@hotmail.com, (417) 350-9471


Drury’s O’Reilly Family Event Center earns LEED Gold Certification

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 14, 2012 — The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded Drury’s O’Reilly Family Event Center LEED Gold certification. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The certification has been verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

Drury earned 42 LEED certification points from USGBC, but only needed 39 to achieve LEED Gold. Points are awarded for sustainable features in the building, such as: low flow water fixtures, a dedicated recycling area, a solar reflective roof and solar reflective pavement materials. According to the USGBC, “LEED-certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.”

The LEED Gold O'Reilly Family Event Center

“We have the Pitt family to thank for this Gold LEED designation,” said Drury President Todd Parnell. “Their $600,000 donation allowed us to pursue a Gold LEED certification, which aligns with the University’s commitment to sustainability and sets a good example for our students.”

Drury will honor the Pitts following the Drury’s men’s basketball game on Feb. 18. Tip-off for that game is at 3 p.m. The O’Reilly Family Event Center court is named after William A. Pitt, the father of Doug, Brad and Julie.

“The strength of USGBC has always been the collective strength of our leaders in the building industry,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, Drury University demonstrates its leadership through their LEED certification of the O’Reilly Family Event Center.”

Drury University would like to thank the following companies for their work in helping Drury achieve LEED Gold for the O’Reilly Family Event Center:

  • Architects: H Design Group
  • LEED Consultant: Architectural Energy Corporation
  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineers: Colvin Jones Davis
  • Commissioning Agent: Zachry Engineering Consultants
  • Builder: Killian Construction Company

The 3,100 seat O’Reilly Family Event Center opened in October 2010, and it serves as the home for Panther and Lady Panther basketball and volleyball. Since its opening, the venue has hosted internationally known entertainers, such as, Sheryl Crow, Colbie Caillat and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils.


Campus Consciousness tour with rapper J. Cole is coming to Drury in April

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 6, 2012 — Grammy nominated rapper J. Cole will headline the Campus Consciousness tour when it comes to the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Monday, April 23. Tickets go on sale Friday, Feb. 10. Prices range from $20-$38 plus service fees. Tickets can be purchased online at drurytickets.com, by calling (417) 873-6389, or in person at the O’Reilly Family Event Center box office.

The Campus Consciousness tour describes itself as, “Half music tour, half environmental campaign, the Campus Consciousness Tour aims to inspire and activate students in an electric atmosphere while leaving a positive impact on each community the tour visits. In addition to educating and mobilizing students, the tour includes many greening elements and is run to have a minimal environmental footprint.”

J. Cole is nominated for the Grammy for best new artist. His last album, Cole World: The Sideline Story debuted at number one on the billboard top 200. His current single, Work Out is a top 15 track on the Billboard 100, and is number eight on the Billboard Radio chart.

“In the past, the Campus Consciousness Tour has mostly been to large universities and mainly on the east coast,” said Hunter Abbey, marketing and events coordinator for the O’Reilly Family Event Center. “Drury is one of the few tour stops in the Midwest, which says a lot about Drury’s commitment to sustainability.”


Tickets for Kelly Clarkson at Drury go on sale Friday, Dec. 2

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 28, 2011 — Tickets for Kelly Clarkson’s March 14 performance at Drury’s O’Reilly Family Event Center go on sale this Friday, Dec. 2 at 10 a.m.

Tickets prices are $49, $44 and $34 and may be purchased at www.drurytickets.com, by calling the O’Reilly Family Event Center box office at (417) 873-6389, or in person.

Kelly Clarkson

Clarkson burst onto the music scene as the first winner of the FOX network’s American Idol television show. Since then, she’s produced five studio albums, including her 2011 offering Stronger. Clarkson has won two Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, two MTV Awards, one Country Music Award and 11 Billboard Awards.

Opening for Clarkson is San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Matt Nathanson. His act is described as part music and par standup comedy.

The Wednesday, March 14 show is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Media Contact: Dwight Glenn, Promoter, E-mail: dwight_glenn@hotmail.com, Mobile phone: (417) 350-9471


Kelly Clarkson will play at Drury on March 14, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 14, 2011 — Singer Kelly Clarkson will play at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 as part of her Stronger Tour 2012.

Kelly Clarkson

Tickets go on sale on Dec. 2, 2011 and can be purchased at www.drurytickets.com or by calling the O’Reilly Family Event Center box office at (417) 873-6389. Prices have not been determined. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Media Contact: Dwight Glenn, Promoter, E-mail: dwight_glenn@hotmail.com, Mobile phone: (417) 350-9471