By DIANE TURNER-HURNS
Journal & Topics Reporter
Hold onto your cowboy hats and get prepared for the arrival of superstar Garth Brooks.
Brooks is set to start performing a series of concerts at Allstate Arena beginning this Thursday, Sept. 4. Rosemont public safety officials are reminding concert-goers and residents of parking restrictions and traffic safety as Brooks will perform in 11 shows, 10 of which are currently sold out.
Brooks, 52, is kicking off the ‘Garth Brooks World Tour’ with his wife Trisha Yearwood. This is his first concert in the Chicago area in 17 years.
The first show is Thursday, Sept. 4, at 7:30 p.m. On Sept. 5, 6, 12 and 13 two shows will be held – one at 6 p.m. and one at 10:30 p.m. The sole Thursday, Sept. 11 show will be at 7:30 p.m. Very few tickets remain for his final show for Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.
For those attending one of the performances, Rosemont public safety personnel advises people to be aware of parking restrictions. For those attending 10:30 p.m. shows the arena parking lot will not be open for them until around 9:15 p.m., allowing those from the first show to clear the lot.
To handle the additional crowds satellite parking has been set up at 1111 W. Touhy Avenue at Lee Street, according to arena officials.
“We won’t let anyone park for the second show until we’ve cleared the parking lot of those attending the 6 p.m. show,” Allstate Arena Executive Director Patrick Nagle said. “People should just go to one of the many restaurants in town and have a leisurely dinner then head over to the show.”
Parking costs from $13 to $20 and only cash is accepted at the arena located on Mannheim Road.
For the concerts, according to Rosemont Public Safety officials, all lanes on River Road will be open from Thursday, Sept. 4 through Monday, Sept. 8 in anticipation of high traffic volume. Current road construction has closed some lanes on River Road through October.
Additionally, village public safety officials will be helping manage traffic and pedestrian safety throughout the area during the concerts.
The arena’s seating capacity is 18,000 people, according to Nagle.
Between 150,000 and 180,000 tickets to the Rosemont shows sold in just three hours in late July when Brooks first announced the September concerts.
“This time, I believe he has set a record for consecutive shows, and for that matter, sold out shows,” Nagle said. “In 1994 he did eight consecutive shows. I believe this is the first time in 20 years I have seen any show sell out so quickly.
“I have been here a long time and worked with many artists. I enjoy working with Brooks, Yearwood and their crew,” Nagle said. “People should expect a great show.”