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Why Adele spurned KC: Size of the city matters

A look at Kansas City’s distance from some of Adele’s 2016 U.S. tour stops.
A look at Kansas City’s distance from some of Adele’s 2016 U.S. tour stops.

If your heart is feeling broken because the Adele tour is not stopping in Kansas City next summer, take some solace: It wasn’t personal.

The North American tour, which opens with two shows in St. Paul, Minn., in July, will comprise 56 shows in 23 cities. Forty-six of those shows are scheduled in 19 U.S. cities, including including six shows each in Los Angeles and New York.

Adele will perform in 15 of the 16 most-populated metropolitan areas in the United States. According to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, Kansas City ranks 29th on that list. The tour is also stopping in Denver (No. 23) and three metropolitan areas with smaller populations than Kansas City: San Jose, Calif. (34); Austin, Texas (35); and Nashville, Tenn. (36).

She is not stopping in San Francisco, but, after two shows in nearby San Jose, is doing one show across the bay in Oakland. However, unless Adele is a closet Raiders fan and Chiefs hater, the omission of Kansas City is most likely a matter of numbers and miles.

Kansas City is a long day’s drive from five stops and a total of 13 shows: St. Paul, Minn. (440 miles), Dallas (500 miles), Chicago (510 miles), Nashville (550 miles) and Denver (600 miles). Real devotees could also try Austin (700 miles) or Houston (740 miles), where she will perform two nights each.

The tour overtly flies over and around the middle of the map. It makes no stops in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma or Arkansas, an area with only one city in the top 25 of the OMB’s most-populated list: St. Louis.

Instead it routes itself into more populous areas where it can draw from other cities if need be. Austin, Dallas and Houston, for example, are all within 240 miles of each other. St. Paul is less than 400 miles from Milwaukee and Chicago and less than 500 miles from Winnipeg. Denver is closer to Salt Lake City and Albuquerque, N.M., than it is to Kansas City. Nashville is within 300 miles of Memphis, Indianapolis and Cincinnati.

On top of that, 19 of the 56 shows — one-third of the tour — are split among four of the largest cities on the tour: Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.

The chances of Adele adding shows seem slight. She added dates to her European tour, but there is little or no room for more shows in the middle of her itinerary, and by the time she closes the tour in Mexico City on Nov. 15, she will have been on the road since Feb. 29, minus a two-week break before starting the North American tour.

Tickets for all the North American shows go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday local time via Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Prices are reportedly in the $35 to $160 range, plus fees.

The real hope for Kansas City fans is a follow-up tour in 2017. If not, there may not be someone like her, but there are plenty other great music acts on tour next year.

Timothy Finn: 816-234-4781, @phinnagain