The Man, The Myth, The Legend: Meet Andy Shea


It’s not often you meet someone like Andy Shea. He’s a mover, a shaker — he means business. His heart is big and his vision for the Lexington Legends is even bigger. His passion for people and genuine love for what he does was effortlessly evident when we spoke.

Andy had never been to the state of Kentucky before he moved here in 2005. He came to work in ticket sales and fell in love. Philadelphia, where he grew up will always have his heart but Lexington is home.

As the President and CEO of the Legends you run everything and own the organization?

Yes. My family owns the stadium, owns the team, owns the property, and we have our own food & beverage business here. The Legends have been here for 17 years and we have owned it for the past 13.



It looks like you are very much into giving back – specifically with kids.

Definitely – both personally and with the Legends. I first joined Big Brothers Big Sisters a little over 8 years ago with Christian. And then through Christian it grew to Curtis, Deron, Byron, and Keon.



And you keep up with all of them still?

Oh yeah. When Curtis went through college I paid for his tuition. Same with Christian and eventually Deron. I had custody of Byron for two years which made me kind of like a single dad for a little bit. I still stay actively involved with all of them.



Andy lends a helping hand wherever he can. He adopted a stray dog that showed up at the park — who is aptly named Royal as the Legends are a Kansas City Royals affiliate. He was also able to give Royal a friend: a pet pig he won at an event for the American Diabetes Association. I was in awe listening to how Andy makes it a focus to give back





What is a typical day for you like?

Frankly thats why I love this job because there isn’t a typical day. Any given day we could be wearing shorts and Nikes and we are here till 11:30 or it’s full suit or it’s business casual or its helping pick up trash in the stadium. That is whats amazing about this business. There is a little bit of everything: internal meetings, planning, games, concerts, the high school state tournament, and various different events. It keeps things exciting around here!

What is something you have implemented at the park that you are most proud of?

Something tangible I’m most proud of is Red White & Boom. It was in Lexington, but not at the ballpark. We were able to first host it and then grow it in to the biggest country music festival in the region and arguably one of the biggest in the country. It started out as an event with a lot of up and coming artists but now we have brought many top stars. 

Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Blake Shelton — those are six of the top 15 biggest names in country music.

 Tickets



I’ve been so impressed with this. It’s not often you have the chance to see this many huge names together — let alone in your backyard. When did you decide to take on the go big or go home mentality with this event?

That is kind of my personality as a whole. It would have been very easy to be a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters and do the standard four hours a month. That wasn’t enough for me. It would have been very easy not to get involved with Red White & Boom the first time because of the risk involved with it. Thankfully we saw success and were able to then take a step back and see how we could continue to grow it. I try not to stay complacent — I always want to do better.

Is there any certain artist you are most excited to see?

Luke Bryan for sure. I saw him for the first time in Cincinnati two years ago. It was one of those moments where I felt like a high school girl because I just wanted to hang out with him. He is always smiling. You can tell he is genuinely having fun.







Is there a ticket count you are trying to beat?

We had about 43,000 people last year over the three days and I am confident we will beat it this year. If we average 15,000 per day — i’ll be pumped! I think that is the sweet spot for the facility and the sweet spot for the fans. I think there is value to this atmosphere. I saw Luke among 50,000 people so being able to see him and the other artists in a more intimate spot just makes for a better fan experience.

Besides Red White & Boom, what other big events do you have coming up at Whitaker Bank Ballpark?

September 22nd the Lexington Philharmonic is doing a Harry Potter themed concert here!

That is so creative! Who came up with that idea?

That was me. It is something I have wanted to do for years. Finally this year it just worked out perfectly with scheduling and what we had available. The Lexington Philharmonic is in a really great spot as well right now so it was the perfect addition to their concert line up.

How awesome to be able to dive in to so many other avenues with a venue like this.

Absolutely. And it gives us the chance to meet so many different people. We have hundreds of thousands of fans that come here every year which means we have hundreds of thousands of customers who come from different backgrounds whether that is geographical, age, socioeconomic — you name it. It is so fun to talk to all of these people who are so different but come together to enjoy the same thing.

What I love most about Andy is that he is game for any idea. He is willing, eager to listen to new ideas, and happy to help implement if it is attainable...

This ten year old who comes to a bunch of games, knows I have a pet pig. He has a pet chicken and had asked for weeks when we could have a barn at the park. I brought my pet pig, he brought his chicken, and there was a mini horse here that day as well so we had a barn at the park.






Andy has helped to curate a very smooth operation at the park. It is refreshing to see a leader so willing and open. He yearns for new inventive ideas. No is a word he uses scarcely. If he can make it happen — he will. He has taken kindly to the Field of Dreams attitude: if you build it, they will come. 

This is seen time and time again with all of the special events he has made possible at the park and all of the attendees that show up because of them. I for one know where I will be on Labor Day Weekend — enjoying Andy’s hard work and some fine country music.