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Garth Brooks in KC: Money made, hours played, those Royals ‘kids’

Garth Brooks played seven shows over two weekends at the Sprint Center earlier in May.
Garth Brooks played seven shows over two weekends at the Sprint Center earlier in May.

More than a week has passed since Garth Brooks took over the Sprint Center for two consecutive weekends. Any reconsideration of the seven shows requires a look at the numbers, and they are hefty and impressive.

Each concert was nearly sold out, drawing close to 17,000 people each show. That’s a total of 119,000 tickets sold over seven shows. Combined with Brooks’ previous siege of the arena in 2007, when he sold out nine shows and drew 164,000 fans, he has sold well over a quarter million tickets in 16 shows: more than 283,000.

Here are some money numbers, using a ticket bought through the box office as a reference. Those 119,000 tickets yielded almost $820,000 in taxes ($6.89 per ticket). About $7.2 million went to Brooks and the tour ($60.59 per) and nearly $893,000 went to service charges and other fees ($7.50 per).

Add to those figures the money spent on food and beverages inside the Sprint Center and around downtown Kansas City, especially the Power & Light District, and increased wages for those working at the concessions and in the bars and restaurants, and it’s evident that Brooks’ residency gave the local economy the equivalent of a B12 shot.

Here are some more numbers regarding the shows.

Brooks did two shows each day on Saturday and Sunday of the first weekend, a matinee and an evening show. From 3:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6, till 11:10 p.m. Sunday, May 7, a span of about 31 hours and 40 minutes, Brooks was onstage about 9 hours and 10 minutes, about 30 percent of the time, and was singing or talking/yelling about 75 percent of the time. Trisha Yearwood, who also performed at each show, was onstage the rest of the time.

As if that first Saturday wasn’t long enough, Brooks also spent time that morning at the site of the Royals’ Urban Youth Academy. Brooks’ foundation is donating money to the academy for a press box that will also be used as a classroom for children.

Garth Brooks and the Kansas City Royals on Saturday announced that Brooks' Teammates organization will donate a press box to the KC MLB Urban Youth Academy.

He also found time to film an “Inside Studio G” segment for his Facebook page titled “There’s no place like Kansas City.” In it, he showed video of the Royals players backstage before appearing with Brooks on May 6, calling them “cute” and “kids.”

He even joked about how when he saw some of the players the next day, he had “a bone to pick” with them.

“The crowd got louder than I ever heard it … and it never got that loud again,” Brooks said. “KC loves their boys in blue, and they showed up for them and it was fun.”

He also talked about the fan who handed him M&Ms and how the Sprint Center was “one of the most beautiful buildings ever on the planet.”

Quick recaps

At every show, the crowds were loud and the singalongs, to nearly every song, were joyous. The difference between each wasn’t vastly significant, but there were some standouts.

Saturday, May 6 (evening): Five members of the Kansas City Royals made cameos during “Friends in Low Places.” He signed a guitar and gave it away to a woman weeping with joy.

Friday, May 5: Opening night. The place was uber-juiced and so was Garth.

Saturday, May 13: The final of his seven shows. It lasted nearly three hours, almost into Sunday morning, delivering an evangelical swan song.

Saturday May 6 (afternoon): The first afternoon show of the weekend didn’t let the early start dissuade many people from indulging in some day drinking and getting in the mood.

Sunday, May 7 (evening): It was his fifth show in 48 hours, and though Brooks showed no signs of fatigue, his voice did. He sustained the usual energy level, but by the time he finished the final encore, it was evident his voice needed some rest.

Set lists

Over the course of seven shows, he and Yearwood, drew from a pool of 27 songs. His encores, which varied significantly from one night to the next, drew from a list of nearly three dozen songs.

Here’s a list of songs performed at all seven shows, including the Sunday afternoon show, the only one The Star did not attend.

Main set:

Baby Let’s Lay Down and Dance; Rodeo; Beaches of Cheyenne; Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House; The River; Two Piña Coladas; Papa Loved Mama; Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up); Unanswered Prayers; Make You Feel My Love; If Tomorrow Never Comes; That Summer; Ask Me How I Know; The Thunder Rolls; In Another’s Eyes; XXX’s and OOO’s (An American Girl); How Do I Live; PrizeFighter; The Song Remembers When; Wrong Side of Memphis; Georgia Rain; She’s in Love With the Boy; Shameless; Callin’ Baton Rouge; Friends in Low Places; The Dance.


Don’t Close Your Eyes; Three Wooden Crosses; Amarillo By Morning; The Fightin’ Side of Me; Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off; Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old); Walkaway Joe; Golden Ring; Whiskey to Wine; You Move Me; It’s Your Song; Which One of Them; Wrapped Up in You; American Honky-Tonk Bar Association; Make You Feel My Love; Come Back to Me Again; Carolina in My Mind/Fire and Rain; She’s Every Woman; Night Moves; Piano Man; Wolves; Every Now and Then; In Lonesome Dove; The Red Strokes; The Change; You Move Me; Thicker Than Blood; More Than a Memory; American Pie; Cowboy Bill; Learning to Live Again; She’s Gonna Make It; Meet Your Mom; Ireland; If Tomorrow Never Comes; Standing Outside the Fire.

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood talked lovingly about Kansas City and the Royals during press conference Friday, May 3, ahead of their show that night at Sprint Center.

Timothy Finn: 816-234-4781, @phinnagain