By Jim Hagerty
It’s difficult to determine if Garth Brooks has lost any of his ability to put on powerful performances since retiring from the stage nine years ago. The one thing the country music legend hasn’t lost is his ability to sell tickets. Last Saturday, Oct. 24, fans bombarded the Wynn box office, common for a Brooks show, to get tickets for each of his first 20 Las Vegas shows, selling out each in just five hours.
After a nine-year absence, Brooks signed a deal earlier this month to play weekend-only shows at the Encore Theater inside the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel. The first show is scheduled for Dec. 11.
When a venue sells out in such fashion, fans can sometimes get tickets from brokers who, in turn, mark them up considerably higher than face value. However, the Wynn staff, led by CEO Steve Wynn, will not honor aftermarket tickets it feels were sold by suspected scalpers or unauthorized dealers. The Wynn will even cancel any tickets that exceed their face value ($143).
To track scalped tickets, Wynn officials said they will conduct ongoing audits to monitor purchaser records as closely as possible.
Brooks, who lives in Oklahoma, will fly to and from Vegas in a Wynn-owned private jet, according to his performance schedule. While he has no plans to tour or record new music, he will play with occasional guests, including his wife and fellow country singer, Trisha Yearwood. A new tour and studio project will likely not come until all of his three children, Taylor (born 1992), August (born 1994) and Allie (born 1996) are grown.
To date, Garth Brooks has scored 24 No. 1 singles since his 1989 debut. All but two of his nine studio albums reached the top of the charts in the U.S. The singer has sold nearly 130 million albums worldwide, second to only the Beatles. The single, “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” No. 1 in 1989, was followed by other chart-toppers like “The Dance,” “Friends in Low Places,” “Unanswered Prayers” and “That Summer.”
His most recent No. 1, 2007’s “More Than a Memory,” was off The Ultimate Hits package.
From the October 28-November 3, 2009 issue