ENTERTAINMENT: Brooks tickets going up $100

It pays to wait a year if you’re buying an iPhone or iPad, but early adapters to Garth Brooks shows at Wynn Las Vegas ended up getting a bargain.

Ticket prices for all seats are going up to $253 (including fees) starting with the country superstar’s first anniversary dates during the National Finals Rodeo, Dec. 3-5.

The first year price of $143 still holds for Brooks’ dates Nov. 19-21.

The ticket price always has been the acknowledged sticky point of the relationship between Wynn and the fan-conscious Brooks. Wynn talked of raising ticket prices, perhaps on a tiered system, as soon as Brooks opened last year. In the news conference to announce the deal, Wynn said he told reporters that if Brooks tried to charge only $35, people would think he had lost his voice or something.

Statements from both in today’s news release carries undercurrents of the ongoing tension.

Wynn’s statement says (and note the first word), “My decision to raise the ticket price was a simple one. The demand for Garth was so overwhelming that it caught us by surprise. We could fill a theater many times the size of this, twice a night.

“The most important thing for our company is to give people value for their entertainment dollar. The contact with Garth Brooks in the Encore Theater is the equivalent of being in his living room.

“When the greatest live performer of our time appears in such an intimate theater, the seats should be priced at least competitively with other great Las Vegas entertainers. In terms of value, I believe that Garth Brooks is still under-priced and represents the greatest entertainment value in modern Las Vegas.”

Brooks’s statement is a bit harder to parse: “I am flattered Steve Wynn believes in me as an entertainer and my deal with him is not affected by ticket price. My only concern is the audience.

“Right now, the Vegas audiences are some of the best I have ever played for and I’d hate to see that change for whatever reason.”

Brooks’ five-year deal to play for Wynn is rare for modern-era Vegas in that no middle-man or outside producer is involved. Brooks plays for an undisclosed sum and Wynn sweetened the deal with a private jet for the singer’s commute to Owasso, Okla.


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