Tampa Bay fans can finally rejoice. For the first time since the Tampa Bay Rays made it to the World Series in 2008, the home team is headed to the championship.
By Michael Menendez
Still, though, there’s one small issue: Garth Brooks’ reunion concert was scheduled on the first weekend of the Stanley Cup. What does this mean for the prolific country singer’s fans? No concert anytime soon, which means no friends in low places in Tampa Bay. With the Chicago Blackhawks prepared to face off against the Lightning for game 2 of the Stanley Cup in their home stadium, Amelie Arena, Brooks’ show had to be cancelled.
The problem started when the Blackhawks beat the Anaheim Ducks to reach the finals, giving the Lightning home-ice advantage. The game, while occurring on Saturday, conflicted with both Brooks’ show on Friday and the two slated for Saturday.
Many fans took to twitter to express their feelings on the matter, with the most neutral “tweets” coming from fans of both the Lightning and Garth Brooks himself (as well as having tickets to both as well). Rightfully so, though, considering this would have been Brooks’ first concert in Tampa since 1998, a whopping 17 years.
Reasons behind the cancellation actually had nothing to do with the concert time overlapping the Stanley Cup game, but rather due to safety issues.
In a statement made by Brooks himself and Trisha Yearwood (who is touring with Brooks), they say that “The issue of getting the [NBC] network crews and their gear out of the building and getting our crews and gear into the building late Saturday/early Sunday for two shows on Sunday raises serious safety concerns.” Both stars explained that everything was done to try and move the two shows on Saturday to Sunday, but that it was nearly impossible.
Full refunds have been promised to ticket buyers, with tickets purchased online or through Ticketmaster’s mobile app automatically refunded, while fans who bought physical tickets will have to physically go and receive their refund. No rescheduling for Brooks’ concert has been set nor has there been any inclination that such an act will occur. The tour continues June 11-12 in Birmingham, Alabama.
At this point, the best thing to do is to watch the Stanley Cup and enjoy, because we may be waiting another 17 years for this concert to actually happen.
Michael Menendez is a student at the University of Central Florida, where he majors in journalism.