Garth Brooks tour coming to Jacksonville

By Crystal Moyer, Morning assignment desk, backup traffic reporter, cmoyer@wjxt.com
Published On: Sep 03 2014 08:27:53 AM EDT
Updated On: Sep 03 2014 07:40:00 PM EDT

The country music superstar hasn't been back to Jacksonville since 1997. Brooks has just announced he will perform three shows at Veterans Memorial Arena - October 10th, 11th, and 12th. Channel 4's Heather Leigh spoke with a local fan who said she actually cried with joy at the news.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Garth Brooks is making a visit to Jacksonville as a part of his new World Tour. SMG Jacksonville announced Wednesday morning that the concert will be held at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

Trisha Yearwood is also expected to perform in Jacksonville during his concert.

This will be Brooks' first Florida appearance on the tour and first time in Jacksonville in more than 17 years for an extended engagement, featuring three shows Oct. 10, 11 and 12.

“This is a big deal for Jacksonville,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “We’re honored to host music legend Garth Brooks as he embarks on his long-awaited world concert tour. He’s a fan favorite with incredible stage presence. Along with the great success of the Florida Country Superfest earlier this summer and Paul McCartney’s upcoming concert in October, it shows that Jacksonville is a premier venue for music’s top talent.”

“We are so thrilled that Garth Brooks personally selected Jacksonville as the third stop in his history-making 2014-15 World Tour. [This is] another example of how Jacksonville is making a mark on the nation-wide entertainment scene,” said SMG General Manager Bill McConnell. “Garth has ensured an affordable ticket price, with multiple performances, and we have every confidence that the people of the greater Jacksonville/North Florida region will turn out with pride to support this historical run and believe fans from all over the world will travel to Jacksonville for an experience of a lifetime.”

Tickets for Garth Brooks’ three Jacksonville show dates on Oct. 10, 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. will go on sale at 10 a.m. Sept. 12.

There is an eight-ticket limit. Fans may purchase tickets only at www.ticketmaster.com, ticketmaster.com/garthbrooks, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or Ticketmaster Express at 1-866-448-7849. No tickets will be sold at the venue box office or at Ticketmaster outlets on Sept. 12. Please note select seats are protected with paperless delivery.

Tickets are priced at $68. Additional fees may apply.

Fans interested in purchasing a suite for one of the shows may contact Whitney Oxnard at woxnard@smgjax.com or at 904-630-3900. Suites will be available on an extremely limited basis directly from the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

Carrie McLaren was 14 when she won a backstage pass to the Garth Brooks show in Orlando in 1992.

"I walked in. They said, 'Garth, Carrie's here to meet you, are you ready?'" McLaren said. "He said, 'Yeah, I'll be right there,' and he came out brushing his teeth. I mean, a millionaire performer wearing sweat pants and a T-shirt, and he's brushing his teeth. How much more comfortable can you make someone feel?"

After that, McLaren was hooked.

"He's my thing," she said. "Everybody has that one person. He's my one person."

McLaren has kept memorabilia throughout the years. She's seen Brooks seven times and hopes the next three shows in Jacksonville will bring her tally up.

Amadeus, promotions director for 99.9 Gator Country, said Facebook blew up after the announcement. He thinks all three shows will sell out.

"I work with a guy who's 21, he's a big Garth Brooks fan, and I'm sure he thought he'd never see him," Amadeus said. "And he is so excited about the news, he can't wait. I think a whole new generation is going to get out there and experience the Garth Brooks live show."

Jacksonville is the third city Brooks chose for his comeback tour.

"I like to think he chose it because of me, of course," McLaren said. "I think he just gets Jacksonville. He has a history here, he knew that when he played here in '97 he broke records -- attendance records, show records, the crowd was just unreal. I think he just knows Jacksonville is the place."

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