LOS ANGELES (November 28, 2007) Having been approached by California state elected officials as well as civic leaders from areas affected by recent wildfires, music superstar Garth Brooks has agreed to perform a benefit concert to raise money for the recent fire victims and for the future of fire fighting in the state of California.
Tickets for the January 26, 2008 9:00 PM benefit concert at Los Angeles’ STAPLES Center starring Brooks will be available this Saturday, December 1 at 9:00 AM.
Tickets priced at $38.60 (plus 1.40 city amusement tax and $5.00 handling charge) for all seats will be available via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone network and on-line at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets will not be available at the STAPLES Center Box Office or other outlets. There will be a limit of six tickets per person.
Organizers AEG and Garth Brooks announced that all ticket sale proceeds from the concert sponsored by American Express and official media sponsor the Los Angeles Times, will be donated to the “Southern California 2008 Fire Relief Campaign,” a campaign of the McCormick Tribune Foundation. The funds will be granted to agencies providing aid to victims and the first responders of the Los Angeles and San Diego wildfires in addition to providing financial assistance to California firefighting departments and organizations in need of additional or replacement firefighting equipment to better perform their heroic duties. The Foundation will also be responsible for grant administration and recordkeeping.
Concert sponsor American Express announced that their organization will donate $20 for each ticket purchased with an American Express card with a guaranteed commitment to the fund of $1 million. The McCormick Foundation has also pledged to match the first $2 million raised at 50 cents on the dollar (up to a $1 million match) in addition to promotional support from the Los Angeles Times. AEG has donated the use of STAPLES Center for the night of music starring Brooks who last appeared in Los Angeles in 2001.
“Please let everyone know I hate to ask so much for a ticket but, 100% of the money is going to victims of the recent fires and to the firefighters facing future fires,” said Brooks.
“Garth was extremely aware of what our region has had to endure and was on-board the very moment our City and State leaders requested that he perform,” said Tim Leiweke, President & CEO, AEG. “Having the ability to play a role in helping Californians who have lost their homes and possessions get back on their feet in addition to helping our firefighters, the true heroes to us all, be better prepared to do their jobs was all it took. Those lucky enough to be at STAPLES Center on January 26th will not only experience one of the greatest live performers of all-time but will be joining Garth in helping firefighters and our fellow Californians who are in need.”
“We are eager to partner with Garth Brooks, a dynamic musician and philanthropist, to help revitalize the California communities affected by fire devastation and will donate $20 for every ticket purchased by our cardmembers to further help the cause,” said Rich Lehrfeld, Vice President, Global Sponsorship, American Express.
“The Times is honored to join Garth Brooks, AEG, American Express and the McCormick Tribune Foundation in this effort to bring much needed fire-relief aid to Southern Californians.” said David D. Hiller, Los Angeles Times Publisher and CEO.”
Elected officials on both the state and local levels have already spoken with Brooks to pledge their support for his appearance and tremendous efforts to make this important event a reality.
On behalf of the State of California, Speaker of the State Assembly Fabian Nunez commented, “On behalf of the people of California, I want to thank Garth Brooks for taking the initiative to provide critical leadership during this time of need. When I spoke to Mr. Brooks last week, he immediately responded and will make a difference in thousands of lives not only now, but in the future by helping fire agencies throughout Southern California.”
“This is an incredible gesture of unparalleled generosity by Garth Brooks for which we are all sincerely grateful. It really counts for a lot as we move forward with the healing and recovery efforts,” commented Zev Yaroslavsky, Chairman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
“On behalf of all San Diegans, I commend and thank Garth Brooks, his band, American Express, the Los Angeles Times, McCormick Tribune Foundation and STAPLES Center for making this benefit concert a reality,” said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. “To have a star of Mr. Brooks’ stature dedicate his talent and time to help raise funds for those who lost their homes and to better equip our brave firefighters is truly uplifting.”
“All of Orange County thanks Garth Brooks and appreciates his efforts to bring needed relief to those suffering from the recent fires,” said Chris Norby, Orange County Supervisor, Board Chair.
“Garth Brooks is an American music legend, and his benefit concert is going to be a huge boost for the fire relief efforts in Southern California,” San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman Paul Biane said. “Garth’s efforts will surely gain him some new friends in ‘high places’ here in the San Bernardino Mountains where more than 500 homes were damaged or destroyed by the recent fires.”
“The residents of California owe a debt of gratitude to Garth Brooks for supporting this worthy cause, commented Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “This event will not only benefit the victims of the recent wildfires, but the firefighters who risk their safety to protect our lives and property.” “The recent tragic fires have taken lives and destroyed property in this region, but they have not destroyed the spirit of giving that exists here, commented John F. Tavaglione, Chairman of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors. “We are incredibly fortunate to live in Southern California, not only for its environment and active lifestyle, but for its generosity and caring. I’m confident this event, featuring the great Garth Brooks, will raise a lot of money for the victims of these fires and I’m certain it will lift their spirits. Thank you to Garth Brooks and the promoters of this concert, for helping improve the lives of the fire victims.”
Certified by the RIAA as the #1 selling solo artist in US history, Garth Brooks has sold in excess of 123 million albums. He is the only solo artist in RIAA history to have 6 albums top the 10 million mark. This year Garth became the first artist to put out a simultaneous edition of his latest collection for a charitable cause. November 6, 2007 saw the launch of the pink edition of The Ultimate hits available only at the Susan G Komen website. His body of work including the groundbreaking No Fences, Ropin’ The Wind, The Hits, and Double Live propelled country music as a genre to the front pages of newspapers worldwide and the covers of magazines, to the point where Forbes declared on its cover, “Country Conquers Rock” and featured Garth in a major music piece. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Garth Brooks is the top-selling solo artist of the 20th century.
The key to his record-setting success lies within the personality and talent of Garth Brooks. It has been said that through the 1990s, Garth’s only real competition was himself. He brought daring individualism and a love of music to the table. His wide range encompasses a variety of styles which include working class blues, honky tonk, bluegrass, and arena rock. His easy-going, approachable charisma was matched only by his fearless willingness to take chances and step outside the lines. He has had an unprecedented run so far, and opened the doors for many more country artists to follow.
Garth has received every accolade the recording industry can bestow on an artist, including: 2 Grammys, 17 American Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, 18 Academy of Country Music Awards, 5 World Music Awards, 12 People’s Choice Awards, and 36 Billboard Music Awards. He was named Artist of the ‘90s at the 1997 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, received the Artist Achievement Award at the 1997 Billboard Music Awards, and was named Artist of the Decade at the American Music Awards in 2000 and the Academy of Country Music Awards in 1999.
In the midst of one of the most successful careers in music history, Garth retired from touring in 1998. His days are now spent raising his three daughters and in the company of his soulmate, wife, and fellow entertainer, Trisha Yearwood. Garth is a man of great humanity. His retirement is often placed on hold to perform for charities that are close to his heart.
AEG is one of the leading sports and entertainment presenters in the world. AEG, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Anschutz Company, owns or controls a collection of companies including facilities such as STAPLES Center (Los Angeles, CA), NOKIA Theatre Times Square, NOKIA Theatre at Grand Prairie (TX), the El Rey Theatre (Hollywood, CA), the WaMu Theatre (Seattle, WA), Target Center (Minneapolis, MN) and three just opened arenas, Sprint Center (Kansas City, MO), Prudential Center (Newark, NJ) and The O2, a 28-acre development located in the eastern part of London along the Thames River which includes a 20,000 seat arena and over 650,000sf of leisure and entertainment use; sports franchises throughout the world including the Los Angeles Kings ( NHL), Los Angeles Riptide (MLL), the Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo (MLS) in addition to overseeing privately held management shares of the Los Angeles Lakers ( NBA). AEG developed and operates The Home Depot Center, a $150 million national training facility on the Campus of California State University Dominguez Hills in Carson, California designated as an “Official U.S. Olympic Training Site” by the United States Olympic Committee that includes major facilities for soccer, tennis, track & field, cycling, lacrosse, rugby, action sports, beach volleyball, basketball and other sports. AEG’s live entertainment division, AEG LIVE is one of the world’s leading concert promotion and touring companies.
AEG is overseeing the development of L.A. LIVE, a 4 million square foot / $2.5 billion downtown Los Angeles sports, residential & entertainment district featuring NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE, a 7,100-seat state-of-the-art live theatre which opened this October, a 54-story, 1001-room convention center “headquarters” hotel, Club NOKIA at L.A. LIVE, a 2,400 capacity live music venue, a 14-screen Regal Cineplex, “broadcast” facilities for ESPN, along with entertainment, restaurant, residential and office space and additional arenas, O2 World, on a 45-acre site in the heart of Berlin, Citizen’s Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California and in Las Vegas, Nevada.
About American Express
American Express Company (www.americanexpress.com) is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.
About the Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 2.2 million and 3.2 million on Sunday. The Los Angeles Times and its media businesses and affiliates including latimes.com, The Envelope/theenvelope.com, Times Community Newspapers, Hoy, and California Community News reach approximately 8.1 million or 62% of all adults in the Southern California marketplace.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times, has been covering Southern California for over 125 years and is part of Tribune Company ( NYSE: TRB), one of the country’s leading media companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting. Additional information about the Los Angeles Times is available at www.latimes.com/mediacenter.
About the McCormick Tribune Foundation and its Communities Program
The McCormick Tribune Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to making life better for our children, communities and country. The Foundation’s communities program is a unique effort that stimulates local philanthropy and improves community life. Each year thousands of people make donations to the Foundation through various fundraising activities, including direct mail, online giving and special campaigns. Together with newspapers, broadcasters and sports teams nationwide, the Foundation raises money from the public for important local and national causes, including disaster relief. The Foundation encourages donations by adding 50 cents to every dollar contributed, up to set limits. Then, the Foundation makes grants to nonprofits in the communities from which the donations originated. The Foundation and its partners absorb all campaign administrative costs, so 100 percent of every dollar donated, plus the Foundation’s match, goes directly to thoroughly screened agencies that provide critical services to those most in need. For more information, please visit our Web site www.McCormickTribune.org.
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