Here's What Rosemont Promised Garth Brooks To Play Allstate Arena
By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 25, 2015 8:40PM
Garth Brooks (center, fist raised) performs at Allstate Arena last September. (Photo credit: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)
After months of wrangling, the Tribune finally received documents from the Village of Rosemont detailing how far Mayor Brad Stephens was willing to go to lure the country music legend out of retirement for a record-breaking 11-show stand at Allstate Arena last September.
The village paid Brooks $100,000 per sold-out show held at the arena, and another $50,000 for the eleventh show which didn’t sell out. Brooks received discounts to rent Allstate Arena; he paid $40,000 for the first show and as low as $35,000 thereafter. (Village officials didn’t disclose the standard rental rate for the arena.)
Brooks wound up selling 183,000 tickets for the 11 shows—a North American record for ticket sales in a single city—and grossed more than $12 million. For their part, Rosemont pocketed $2 million, a tidy sum town spokesman Gary Mack called “prudent governing” and “smart business,” two terms we don’t normally associate with the northwest suburb.
"Rosemont knows how (to) operate government effectively and efficiently, like a business," Mack said in a statement. "Any day that the village can trade a million dollar investment for more than a $2 million return to its taxpayers it will do so.”
Rosemont officials threw shade at the Tribune attempts to discover the details of the deal with Brooks for nearly five months, claiming they were trade secrets that would give other towns a leg up on negotiating with major acts to host shows and events. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan ruled Rosemont had to give the Tribune the documents. Allstate Arena, the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center and the Rosemont Theatre are all owned by the village and contracts related to events at those facilities fall under open records law.