Garth Brooks will make history with sold-out ‘in-the-round’ stadium concert at Petco Park Saturday
The 53,000 attendance will be a record for the downtown San Diego stadium, the home of the San Diego Padres. Brooks joined the team for two months of spring training in 1999
How many times has Garth Brooks broken records and made history?
How high can you count?
Brooks, who performs Saturday at Petco Park, is the top-selling solo artist in U.S. history with album sales of over 157 million.
That’s more than either Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson — and second only to The Beatles. Nine of Brooks’ albums have sold more than 10 million copies each, which is another record.
His 3½-year “Garth Brooks World Tour” with his wife, singer Trisha Yearwood, concluded in 2017 and sold more than 6.3 million tickets — the most for any North American tour in history.
Trisha Yearwood and her worst gig
The “Garth Brooks World Tour” was his first in 14 years and included five back-to-back San Diego Sports Arena concerts in 2015. That’s the most ever by any artist at the 14,000-capacity venue (now known as Pechanga Arena San Diego).
Tardy arrival courtesy of Vice President Joe Biden, who was landing in Nashville as country-music couple’s flight was getting ready to take off. They spoke to the press backstage before their show.
In 2020, Brooks was a Kennedy Center honoree. He is only the sixth country-music artist in the 42-year-old event’s history to receive that prestigious designation.
In January 2021, Brooks sang “Amazing Grace,” a cappella, at President Joe Biden’s inauguration. That March saw him receive the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Apart from Willie Nelson, no other country artist has been awarded the Gershwin Prize.
Garth Brooks talks about his epiphany
In 1998, Brooks became the first — and, so far, only — music superstar in any genre to do spring training with the San Diego Padres, whose Petco Park home stadium is hosting his Saturday concert here. Brooks went 1-for-22 batting at the plate during his spring training stint.
Country music superstar joined Padres for spring training, where he went 1-for-22 at the plate
“Garth actually got a pinch-hit single off Mike Sirotka, who was the pitcher for (Chicago) White Sox,” recalled Padres’ CEO Erik Greupner. “It’s cool that he gave up a hit to the guy who became the biggest-selling solo artist of all time!”
Brooks’ list of firsts doesn’t stop there.
His inspirational 1992 song, “We Shall Be Free,” led him to become the first country act to receive an Outstanding Music Artist award from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Today, 30 years later, he is still the only country act to be so honored.
From San Diego to Dublin
Brooks’ Saturday Petco Park concert will be his first stadium show of the year. It is also his only West Coast date of 2022.
“The Garth Brooks Stadium Tour” debuted in March 2019. It has set attendance records in each of the 15 cities it has visited thus far, drawing a combined audience of nearly 1.2 million people.
Not counting San Diego, the tour has earned an estimated $97 million-plus in gross revenues. That figure is even more notable given that Brooks keeps all his ticket prices under $100.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he halted his tour between February 2020 and last summer, when he played four stadium shows in July and August.
Citing health concerns for his fans as the pandemic surged again, Brooks called off his five 2021 September and October stadium dates. His tour is now set to conclude this September in Ireland, where he will perform a record five consecutive stadium shows at Dublin’s 82,300-capacity Croke Park.
Brooks’ sold-out Saturday concert at Petco Park will also be historic.
It will be the first full stadium performance at the downtown ballpark to be held “in-the-round.” With a record 13,000 fans on the field and 40,000 in the stands, it will also be the highest-attended event in Petco’s 17-year history.
“It was Garth’s idea to play ‘in-the-round’ because it enables him to engage even more with his fans,” said Padres’ CEO Greupner.
“The stage will be more oval than circular, and go from just behind second base to shallow center field. That gives him the opportunity to have fans on all sides of him, evenly distributed throughout the field.
“We’ve been after Garth for years to play Petco because we think it will be a great fit. Fortunately for us, he selected our venue to kick off the 2022 leg of his tour.”
If you go to the concert
• All gates at Petco Park will open at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Early arrival is encouraged. No re-entry will be allowed.
• All tickets for the concert are digital and can be found in either the free MLB Ballpark App or free Ticketmaster App. Each person in your party must have their own ticket on their own mobile device before entering Petco Park. Details on how to access or transfer your tickets are available online at: mlb.com/padres/tickets/mobile/guide
• Concertgoers with tickets on the floor of the stadium can enter at the Breezeway Gate (at the intersection of L and Tony Gwynn Drive), the Downtown Gate (at the intersection of J and Eighth Ave.) or the Balboa Gate (at the intersection of J and Ninth Ave.). All other open entrances are available for concertgoers whose seats are not on the stadium floor, including those with private suite tickets.
• Pre-purchased parking passes at all Padres’ parking lots are sold out. Because parking in the area is extremely limited, the use of public transportation and ridesharing is recommended. More information, including the Trolley and Coaster schedule, is available at: mlb.com/padres/ballpark/transportation
• No outside food or beverages are permitted.
• No bags or backpacks are permitted, with the exception of single compartment bags measuring no more than 7 by 10 inches, and infant and medical bags. Mobile lockers can be rented for $10 (cashless) at the Premier Lot across from the Home Plate Gate.
• Petco Park is a cashless venue. Credit cards, Padres Pay, Google Pay and Apple Pay are accepted at all concessions locations.
• Petco Park is a smoke-free facility. Use of tobacco, vaping, e-cigarettes is not allowed inside the venue. Designated smoking areas will be available at each main gate.
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., downtown
Tickets: Sold out
Phone: (619) 795-5555
COVID protocols: Petco Park strongly recommends all concertgoers be fully vaccinated or receive a negative COVID-19 test before entering the ballpark, but does not require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to enter.
5:10 p.m. March 4, 2022: Based on information provided by the San Diego Padres, the original version of this article indicated attendees at Garth Brooks’ Saturday Petco Park concert could bring “one factory-sealed water bottle per person.” That policy has been changed. No water bottles can be brought into the concert.
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