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With only a few days to go, lots of Bon Jovi tickets remain 23 October 2007
NJ Star-Ledger article

Source: NJ Star-Ledger

Country superstar Garth Brooks will perform nine concerts next month as part of the grand opening celebration of the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

It took the new arena -- which officially opened Oct. 13 with a sold-out Elton John show -- less than two hours to sell all 159,775 tickets to the Brooks shows, set for Nov. 5-12 and Nov. 14.

But six months after tickets went on sale for New Jersey's own Bon Jovi's 10-night opening stand at Prudential Center in Newark, thousands of seats are still available.

That's the unpredictable nature of the concert business, where sure things are never as solid as they appear. In fact, just two of six arenas opened since 2000 sold out the inaugural shows -- and none of them was a 10-night stand.

"Bon Jovi, in New Jersey, in a brand-new arena. On paper that looks like a no-brainer," said Ray Waddell, senior editor at Billboard magazine. "Looks like a home run."

Turns out that's not the case. None of the 10 shows has sold out, although at least 140,000 seats have been sold for the run, according to AEG Live, the concert promoter. However, at press time, the Ticketmaster Web site showed blocks of four tickets can be purchased for every concert, including floor seats and those in the lower level.

Debra Rathwell, senior vice president for AEG Live, said there are between 14,000 and 15,000 tickets being sold to each show. In addition, the Prudential Center has some 1,500 seats in its 76 luxury boxes, bring the total closer to 16,500 per show. That's still well below the arena's stated concert capacity of 19,500.

Rathwell said the band determined the lengthy run. "Ten was what they wanted to do, and we went for it," she said.

The concerts, which run Oct. 25, 26, 28, 30, Nov. 1, 3, 4, 7, 9 and 10, support the band's new album "Lost Highway," released in June. Opening acts include My Chemical Romance, Gretchen Wilson, Daughtry, Big and Rich and the All American Rejects.


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