With Tom Cantone, it’s all about returning to normal. With emphasis placed upon not a “New Normal.”

Air Supply was the first big attendance live concert (this past Sunday, July 18, 2021) since the COVID-19 pandemic.

An enthusiastic, purposefully reduced crowd attended. There was limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Cantone, the Corporate level President of Sports and Entertainment for Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (MGE) anticipates that the Mohegan Sun Arena will return to full capacity (10,000) on Thursday, July 29, 2021 when “Lady A” appears.

”We wrote a new and important chapter tonight and a lot of new memories tonight. It was great to see a big crowd here making memories again, said Cantone in an exclusive interview with WPG Talk Radio 95.5

Guests who are vaccinated can choose whether to wear a face mask or not.

WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM logo
Get our free mobile app

‘Live from Mohegan Sun Arena’ will bring us back to normal,” said Cantone. “We’ve been doing this for a long time … but, it all feels brand new … like we’re doing it for the first time,” said Cantone.

Cantone has kept a running clock as to how long it had been since a live act had appeared.

"One year, two months and 29 days," he says. "About 11,000 hours, said Cantone.

"We are back to normal," Cantone says in his usual infectiously positive tone.

“I always thought one of the big signifiers that the COVID-19 virus was ending would be the return of live entertainment."

”We’ve made it all the way back,” said Cantone.

Cantone also shared with us that Air Supply … Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell were “proud and honored to be the first act to publicly appear in the arena.”

In truth, The Mohegan Sun Arena never closed during the pandemic.

Through skillful negotiations and collaboration with multiple working partners, Mohegan Sun partnered with Viacom and successfully broadcast a series of "Bubble Broadcasts" from the arena that brought Showtime Boxing and Bellator Mixed Martial Arts events to over 12 million television and streaming viewers all over the world.

We reported elaborately here when this was happening in real time during the pandemic.

"We found a way to stay relevant during historic times," Cantone says. "We could have sat it out and waited but we took advantage of opportunity that comes with a crisis. We were able to keep a lot of people working and kept the venue alive and well."

Those efforts caused CelebrityAccess to name Cantone their Innovator of the Year for 2020.

"This recognition is shared with great respect and empathy for all our Team Members at Mohegan Sun," Cantone says. "At a time of uncharted territory and personal risk, they found a way to show the world what we do best even during an historic pandemic."

Cantone also brought the ESPN live awards program to an international television audience.

To date, the Mohegan Sun has over three dozen concerts, sporting events and performances scheduled for the Arena into December. They include Brantley Gilbert, Blake Shelton, Harry Styles, Sebastian Maniscalco, the Dave Matthews Band and the Doobie Brothers with Michael McDonald (see schedule).

New events will continue to be announced, Cantone says, and the Sun has secured a commitment to host the Miss America pageant for the next three years. Justin Bieber, The Weeknd and Brad Paisley have each also confirmed for shows in 2022.

"I felt like an air traffic controller trying to land 500 planes at once," says Cantone, laughing with relief now that it's actually happening. "We had place holders all over the calendar, and a lot of major artists pushed their touring schedules back to 2022. It was just a huge mental challenge because it was all unknown territory with no way to plan for normalcy.

"At the same time, we were pleased as time went on and progress was made that a lot of the artists wanted specifically to come back to the Arena — so of course we routed them in. This summer's schedule is very respectable given what we were up against, and then August and September we will pick-up. October is our 25th anniversary, and I'm happy to announce we've got a spectacular month planned,” concluded Cantone.

Here are the live Events at Mohegan Sun Arena

July 18 — Air Supply

July 29 — Lady A

Aug. 5 — Dustin Lynch

Aug. 6 — Frankie Valli

Aug. 8 — Straight No Chaser

Aug. 17, 19 — Connecticut Sun vs. Minnesota Lynx

Aug. 20 — Jeff Dunham

Aug. 22 — Jason Mraz

Aug. 24 — Connecticut Sun vs. Las Vegas Aces

Aug. 26, 28 — Connecticut Sun vs. Los Angeles Sparks

Aug. 27 — Tom Segura

Sept. 1 — Big and Rich

Sept. 3 — Toby Keith

Sept. 11 — Dan & Shay

Sept. 15 — Connecticut Sun vs. New York Liberty

Sept. 16 — Brantley Gilbert

Sept. 18 — Marc Anthony

Sept. 19 — Connecticut Sun vs. Atlanta Dream

Oct. 1, 2 — Sebastian Maniscalco

Oct. 22 — Blake Shelton (25th Anniversary Weekend)

Oct. 23 — Harry Styles (25th Anniversary Weekend)

Oct. 28 — Doobie Brothers with Michael McDonald

Oct. 29 — The Monkees Farewell Tour

Oct. 30 — Old Dominion

Oct. 31 — Machine Gun Kelly

Nov. 4 — Brett Eldredge

Nov. 7 — Paul Anka

Nov. 9 & 10 — Dave Matthews Band

Nov. 12 — Brett Young

Nov. 16, 17 — Basketball Hall of Fame

Dec. 5 — Chris Young

Dec. 10 — Earth Wind & Fire

Atlantic City is poised to follow right behind Connecticut.

The largest midweek air show in America is returning to Atlantic City on Wednesday, August 18, 2021.

Concerts will also return and MEET AC is aggressively selling Atlantic City to the live events industry that includes: Trade Shows, Conventions and Meetings and more.

26 Google Street View Images That Show Just How Much South Jersey Has Changed

We've seen a lot of change in Atlantic and Cape May Counties over the past few years -- but given how busy many of us are, perhaps we forget how things used to be. Thanks to Google Street View, we can go back in time...

Cape May, NJ: 15 wonderful places to visit


More From WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM