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Checketts' Concert Goals Unrealistic, Experts Say

The possibility of booking 11 concerts a year or more is one of the big selling points for Dave Checketts and Real Salt Lake in the team's bid to acquire the public funds necessarily to build a 20,000-seat capacity stadium in Sandy, a suburb of Salt Lake City. RSL expects the shows to average 17,500 fans, selling tickets for $35.50 on average, growing to $45 within six years. By 2012, RSL said it would grow to 18 concerts.

The Salt Lake Tribune says the team will run into trouble trying to reach that goal, because concerts historically struggle in the Salt Lake City area. Since 2001, just 11 concerts managed 17,000 fans or more in Salt Lake's other 20,000-seat plus stadiums. Among the acts that achieved those figures: U2 and Kenny Chesney. Others, like The Rolling Stones, The Who, Aerosmith, and Dave Matthews failed to sell out due to high-ticket prices. None of these acts would turn up for a measly $45 per head, experts say, adding that the area's population is too small to be a draw for them anyway.

Checketts says concerts haven't sold out in Salt Lake because the county hasn't taken advantage of what he calls the "summer factor." He thinks RSL's open-air stadium would be perfect for attracting sellout summer shows-a la Summer Fest in Milwaukee, WI, a small city that attracts big numbers by bringing in many big acts over the course of several days.

Read the whole story at Salt Lake Tribune »

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