Garth Brooks Talks Tampa, Fla., Concert Cancellations: ‘Every Second Had to Fall the Way It Did’
On Friday night (May 29) the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning won their way into the Stanley Cup Finals. It was a win for the city's hockey fans, but a loss for the city's Garth Brooks fans, as the country star's World Tour stops at Amalie Arena, scheduled for June 5 and 6, had to be canceled so that the Lightning could play a game on the 6th. It's the first time in Brooks' entire career that he has had to cancel a tour stop in the United States.
"I've heard the term 'perfect storm' before," Brooks says, "but this one, just every second had to fall the way it did."
Brooks first got word that his planned concerts could clash with the NHL's schedule on Thursday, when he arrived in Knoxville, Tenn., for a series of shows.
"[The promoter] pulls me over, and he goes, 'You know, we've got a storm brewing here,' and I said, 'What are the chances?'" Brooks explains. "And he goes, 'Well, at this point now ...' -- and he's a mathematician kind of guy -- he goes, 'There's a 16 percent probability.' I said, 'Well, let's just prepare, and let's figure out what our options are and see how it's going.'"
At that point, the Lightning still hadn't won their final game; even when they did win, there was no guarantee that their game schedule would clash with Brooks' show dates.
"And as it kept going, it just -- you know, the chances were a billion to one that it would come down to this ..."
Brooks was careful to reiterate something that he said in the statement posted to his website announcing the cancellations: He knows that everything that could have been done to find a solution to the conflict, on both sites, was done.
"I'm watching the socials, and I'm seeing people blaming the building -- but, it's like, guys, there was nothing anybody could do," he says. And as for those suggesting that the shows be moved to a different venue, Brooks explains that "the people that know the business know you can't just take up and go to different places and stuff."
Brooks' camp is working with Amalie Arena to lock down rescheduled dates for the three concerts, but between his schedule and the building's, it's taking some time.
"You've got to look and see what their schedule is, what your schedule is," he explains. "Sometime soon? I don't know ... Between their schedule and our schedule, it's hard to find right now."
Although all of the dates have not yet been announced, Brooks reveals that stops on his World Tour are currently booked into 2017.
"I'd love to sit here and be able to tell you a date right now. I can't," Brooks continues. "I'm just calling to tell you how much I love you guys and I'm so sorry this happened and how happy I am for Tampa that you're in the quest for Lord Stanley's Cup."
So, now that Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood have an unexpected free weekend, what will they do with their time off?
"We might go home and see our girls. We might do that and just ... I don't know, man," Brooks says. "The whole crew and band were just looking at each other going, 'What do we do if we're not working?'"
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