Consider Alltel Arena fortunate it DIDN'T land a
Some day, these tour management guys are going to start paying attention, or at least start considering Memphis on the same level as the Little Rock market (we're not saying that's necessarily a good thing, for either place).
Here's some of what Ray Waddell of Billboard reports from Nashville on the Chicks tour struggling in several markets:
Initial ticket sales for the Dixie Chicks' upcoming tour are far below expectations and several dates will likely be canceled or postoned. Ticket counts for the 20-plus arena shows that went on sale last weekend were averaging 5,000-6,000 per show in major markets and less in secondaries, according to sources contacted by Billboard. Venue capacities on the tour generally top 15,000.
In contrast, the band's new album, "Taking the Long Way," sold 526,000 units in its first week, according to Nielsen Soundscan, the third-largest sales week of 2006. The album logged a second week in the period ended June 4, according to sales data issued Wednesday.
Despite those numbers, early ticket sales are clearly not meeting projections. The plug was pulled on public on-sales for shows in Indianapolis (August 23), Oklahoma City (September 26), Memphis (September 27) and Houston (September 30) because of tepid pre-sales in a national promotion with Target stores.
The Memphis show has been pulled off the route and the status of the shows in Indianapolis, Houston and Oklahoma City remains uncertain. Industry speculation has it that much or all of the tour may be postponed. At the very least, it is likely routing and capacity will be reconfigured.
Early ticket sales for this tour are in marked contrast to the Chicks' last proper outing in 2003 when a national on-sale moved some 867,000 tickets the first weekend, and second shows were added in several markets. The Chicks ended up with the top-grossing country tour of 2003 at $62 million.
The good news for the girls is that some shows in northern markets are reportedly selling well, such as in Philadelphia and in Toronto, where a second date was added. "Canada loves the Chicks," the Toronto facility booking director told Billboard.
Needless to say, with their outspokeness toward President Bush, some people in more conservative markets would like to see the Chicks move to Canada.