Garth Brooks psyched for ‘honky tonk’ Pittsburgh mega-show
Garth Brooks is having a party in Pittsburgh for 72,887 of his closest friends.
And if his recent concerts in other cities are any indication, it’s sure to be some kind of awesome celebration.
The country superstar shattered Heinz Field’s concert ticket sales record for his upcoming one-night Stadium Tour show on May 18. The previous record was held by Taylor Swift and her “Reputation” tour last August, when some 56,445 “Swifties” filled the venue.
That’s not even close to the number of fans that are going to pack the North Shore stadium on Saturday night to watch Brooks rock the place with his nonstop energy and chart-topping music.
Nick Sero, Heinz Field corporate communications manager, says the number will be closer to 75,000 fans or more when suites and additional seating that may be added are counted.
In other cities where Brooks has played, some stadiums have opened up more seats based on the stage setup and released them as late as a few days before or the day of the concert.
Sero says there’s “a possibility” that some tickets may open up once the singer/songwriter/musician’s entourage of 25 to 30 big trucks hauling in equipment are unloaded and the venue’s “in-the-round” seating configuration is set.
“It’s hard to say now,” he adds.
Pittsburgh’s in the 8
Sero said “it was a really big ‘get’ to have Garth Brooks play in Pittsburgh, since he’s only playing in eight cities across the country” on his current tour from March 9-July 20.
“We have people coming in from every state, including Alaska and Hawaii, to see his show,” Sero said. “It’s going to be one of the single biggest events Pittsburgh has ever seen,” not only for concertgoers but for local restaurants and hotels.
“It’s a great way to show off our city and our stadium,” he said.
He urged fans to get to Heinz Field early to avoid the traffic and congestion that’s sure to be taking place around the stadium, downtown and on the outlying streets and highways.
Garth put a pitch in for the Steel City show on one of his Monday Night Conversations on his weekly “Inside Studio G” Facebook Live Series, soon after he ended a two-night concert series May 3-4 in Minneapolis.
As he introduced his opening act for the Pittsburgh show – the Austin-Texas based country band Midland – he told the musicians, “Pittsburgh’s coming up, and I’m telling you right now, man, I don’t know if you guys ever played it, but it’s a honky tonk. It just is, man. Pittsburgh’s just hardworking guys.”
Then in a shout-out to the city, Brooks said, “Pittsburgh … So looking forward to it! These guys from Midland, to everybody from Pittsburgh, these guys are gonna come there and trust me, they haven’t seen somebody like you yet – so get ready to lift them up like you do, and I know you’ll make it the night of their lives.”
Looking straight into the camera, he reminded his Pittsburgh followers to “Remember to wear all the black and gold, black and yellow you can muster up. It’s going to be a fun weekend.”
Fans are excited
Fans in the ‘Burgh would definitely agree, taking to social media and sharing with the Tribune-Review their reasons why they’ll be attending Garth Brooks’ Heinz Field show.
Emily Skopic of Gibsonia has been to six Garth concerts since her first when she was in high school and her dad drove nearly an hour away to get a wristband that would let him return to buy tickets.
“That weekend, he stood in the rain for more than six hours to buy tickets because he knew that Garth was my favorite singer,” she said. “The only reason we were able to go to the show was because Garth kept the ticket prices reasonable so that families like mine could afford to attend. I appreciate that and I haven’t seen any other artist do that.”
Marsha Ransick of Elizabeth Township and her husband Bill got their tickets for Christmas from their daughter and son-in-law and this will be their third Garth concert.
“We enjoy the sheer entertainment this artist exudes,” she said. “It is easy to get heavily involved in his show, performance and personality. He is humble for a man of great songs. He makes music for a large demographic.”
“So excited to see Garth in Pittsburgh May 18th,” posted Andrea Kinkade of Economy on Brooks’ Twitter page. “It also happens to be our 17th wedding anniversary that day! Love after 17 years means going to a concert and not even getting to sit near my husband. (He is several rows back lol). He knows I’ve been a fan since I was a young girl.”
Sero said Heinz Field’s North Shore parking lots will open at 2 p.m. on the 18th. Lots close to the stadium will be pre-sold parking and other lots not as close will be open for cash parking.
Security and the venue’s clear-bag policy will be strictly enforced. Stadium gates will open at 5 p.m. and tailgaters must clear the parking lots when the concert starts at 7 p.m.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.