We’ve seen a ton of discussion about the Garth Brooks ticket sale and some speculation about the ticket process.

So I sat down with our Programming people to get the lowdown on the ticket sale.  We provided the full breakdown on tickets to the media yesterday, and I’d like to offer some information that may provide additional clarity.

Our Stampede team works year-round to ensure the best entertainment options for our guests during the Calgary Stampede and Garth Brooks coming to Calgary – after being off the tour circuit for nearly a decade – was a huge win for our city.

The demand for Garth Brooks tickets was enormous and I’m not sure anyone could have anticipated how many fans would be interested in purchasing tickets, or just how quickly they would sell out.

We know there are many satisfied fans that did purchase tickets.  We also know that there are many folks who are disappointed that they did not get the tickets they were hoping for.

The concert has a capacity of 15,322 tickets.  After the Saddledome Club seat holders purchased approximately 3,300 tickets (they have a license agreement that allows them to purchase their seats for every event or concert held in the building), 11,000 tickets were available for the 10:00 am Saturday sale. The balance of tickets, about 1,000, were dedicated for the promoter’s business commitments, artist holds, sponsors, etc. – far less than many typical concerts. There was no pre-sale for media, artist fan clubs, or credit card sponsors. That equates to over 90% of available inventory for access by the public – a far cry from the rumors that only 20% or 30% were available.

The 11,000 tickets sold on Saturday were available through Ticketmaster’s online and telephone services with ticket purchases limited to six per household (ticket limit and price set by the artist). Recognizing that the Ticketmaster system can process thousands of orders simultaneously, it did exactly that and these tickets were sold incredibly fast – 58 seconds we’ve been told. We know that over 80% of roughly 3,500 purchasers are from Calgary and Alberta, with the remainder being from other parts of Canada and the United States.

By the interest shown in Garth’s concert, it could have sold out 10 times over, if not more.  I don’t know the exact number of people attempting to buy tickets for Garth Brooks on Saturday morning, but I understand that a different artist’s show in NYC last fall, which had about 3,000 tickets for sale, saw half a million people logging in trying to buy those tickets.

At the end of the day, what’s unique about this concert is not the venue, ticket sale process or even the reselling of tickets – all of these elements are normal, and sometimes frustrating, parts of the concert industry.  What is unique is the extraordinary demand from across North America for this one show.

If you are interested in another perspective on the concert, please check out Mike Bell’s article on page three of today’s Calgary Herald.


Kurt Kadatz

Director, Corporate Communications