If you want to get an idea exactly how monstrous the monster trucks are, you’ll have to show up early.
“It’s a different feeling when you walk up and stand next to that tire and realize it’s over your head,” said Tony Maderazzo, chief operations officer for the MTD Tour.
It also might put into perspective why these trucks, which measure 13-1/2 feet wide with their “show’ tires, can’t fit through the loading doors at Mayo Civic Center. “They bring them in without their show tires and then put the show tires on when they get inside,” said Andy Krogstad, managing director at Mayo Civic Center.
No big deal, said Maderazzo. “They’re in the semi-trucks with their transfer tires on already,” he said.
Yes, the monster trucks are transported in even bigger trucks, two per semi. Six monsters will arrive in Rochester for the show — five racing trucks and one ride truck.
The trucks will perform and compete in the civic center’s Taylor Arena. Unlike most shows of this type, though, the trucks will not have a dirt floor on which to ride. The show will take place on the arena’s concrete floor, which will be treated with a non-slip substance.
“Very few shows are done on concrete,” Maderazzo said. “It changes our load-in and move-in procedure. Typically, with dirt, we’d have to start bringing it in on Thursday.” Other than that, presenting the show on concrete will cause no major changes, he said.
The cars that are used as obstacles are held together on the concrete floor by giant, interlocking truck tires.
Krogstad said he’s not worried about potential damage to the arena floor. The bigger concern, he said, is the possible buildup of unhealthy exhaust fumes in the arena. “We’ll have the fire department here to monitor our CO levels,” he said. “We have enough capacity to keep the air turned over and keep it clean.”
The monster trucks will compete in three areas:
- Wheelies. “They’re literally trying to get straight up and down,” Maderazzo said. “As close to vertical as possible.” The winner is determined by the audience. “The loudest cheer is what wins,” he said.
- Freestyle. “That’s like an all-out blitz,” Maderazzo said, as the drivers try to outdo each other. Again, the cheers of the audience determine the winner.
In between these main events, there will be quad wars and side-by-side racing. It’s a two-hour show both nights.
“It’s pretty much exactly the same each night,” Maderazzo said. “Obviously, it’s a competition so the results might vary.”
Still, it’s what happens before the show at the pit party that Maderazzo said might be even more fun than the competition itself.
“To get down there on the floor, the trucks are stationary, you can touch them, the drivers are all present, you can ask them questions,” he said. “The kids usually love it. It’s a family thing.”
The Monster Trucks Destruction Tour coming to Mayo Civic Center April 8 and 9 is one of three touring Monster Truck Destruction tours currently on the road.
The other Monster Trucks Destruction shows that weekend will be in Bangor, Maine, and Chico, Calif.
The Rochester competition will feature five trucks:
- Muddy Girl
- Red Solo Truck
The trucks weigh up to 10,000 pounds, with their massive tires (66 inches tall) and extensive suspension structure. Monster truck bodies are made of fiberglass, molded in most cases to resemble a pickup truck.
The cars to be crushed during a show are steel-body, full-size vehicles, sometimes including vans and mini-buses.
What: Monster Truck Destruction Tour
When: 7:30 p.m. April 8 and 9. Pit Party is from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Mayo Civic Center Taylor Arena
Tickets: Advance tickets range from $11 for a pit party pass to $31 for adults with a pit party ticket. Day-of-show tickets range from $11 for a pit party pass to $34 for adults with a pit party ticket. Tickets available at the Mayo Civic Center box office, and through Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, online and at Rochester Walmart stores.