Garth Brooks rolls over Stones, sells record-breaking 86,000 tickets in less than three hours

 

DAVE DEIBERT, SASKATOON STARPHOENIX, SASKATOON STARPHOENIX 

REGINA, SK : August 26, 2015 -- Country music icon Garth Brooks was at the Conexus Arts Centre for the Teammates 4 Kids foundation, a Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan Foundation fundraiser, in Regina on Wednesday. TROY FLEECE/Regina Leader-PostTROY FLEECE / SASKATOON STARPHOENIX

Garth Brooks performs at CBS' Teachers Rock Special live concert at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.KEVIN WINTER / SASKATOON STARPHOENIX

 

One concert couldn’t satisfy the demand for country superstar Garth Brooks in Saskatoon. Two shows? Nope. Three? Getting warmer. Four? Almost. Brooks is now scheduled to play a staggering six concerts over four days in the Bridge City.

As quickly as concerts could be added on Friday morning, the tickets kept selling. Brooks, alongside wife and fellow star Trisha Yearwood, now has dates in Saskatoon set for June 9, 10, 11 and 12.

As of Friday afternoon, Brooks had sold more than 86,000 tickets — an average of more than 14,300 per show — while breaking the sales record for Saskatchewan. The Rolling Stones set the previous standard with 80,127 tickets sold for two shows at Mosaic Stadium in Regina in 2006. With the price of each ticket set at just under $72 with tax included, but before service fees, the total live gate for the six shows already exceeds $6 million.

SaskTel Centre executive director Scott Ford said he knew there was a possibility for additional shows but he didn’t know until tickets started selling how many the venue would get.

“This a phenomenon all by itself,” he said Friday.

With two shows on both June 10 and 11, Ford said the venue will have a plan in place to make entering and exiting the parking lot as smooth as possible. For the last two Saskatchewan Rush lacrosse games, each of which attracted around 15,000 people, the lot was cleared in about 40 minutes. The June 9 concert begins at 7:30 p.m., the June 10 and 11 shows are at 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and the June 12 finale starts at 7:30 p.m.

The country superstar is famous for hits such as Friends in Low Places, Ain’t Goin’ Down and The Thunder Rolls. He is the best-selling solo albums artist of all-time in the United States, ahead of even Elvis Presley. Only The Beatles have sold more albums domestically than Brooks.

The Saskatoon shows are part of his first world tour in two decades. Brooks announced his retirement in 2001, but in 2009 played 180 shows as part of a Las Vegas residency at Steve Wynn’s Encore Theater. In 2014, Brooks released his first new album in 13 years and also started touring again.

As part of his tour, Brooks is also scheduled to play six shows each in Las Vegas, Grand Rapids, Mich. and Des Moines, Iowa. The tour also includes four shows in Fargo, N.D.

Said Ford: “Garth is massive, he always has been.”