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Star-Bulletin Features

Monday, January 22, 2001

How much would
you pay to see
Elton and Billy?

By Tim Ryan

Elton John left his audience here Jan. 13 with the promise that he's going to talk to singer-songwriter Billy Joel about doing a joint concert here this year as part of the duo's United States tour that kicked off Friday in San Diego.

The Joel/John "Face to Face Tour 2001" is scheduled to end Feb. 18 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but additional dates are expected to be announced and could include Hawaii, although promoter Tom Moffatt says he has not spoken with his or Joel's management about a Hawaii concert.

But here's something to think about: How much would fans be willing to pay to see the two megastars?

Making the prospect of the singers performing here tenuous -- aside from their fees -- is their dislike of stadium venues. Such venues lack intimacy, the two singers have said.

That means the show would likely be at the Blaisdell Arena with a maximum seating capacity of about 8,800 (realistically 8,000 when stage area is calculated). The smaller seating capacity would lead to a higher ticket price per seat.

At the sold out San Diego show in the 12,000-seat Cox Arena, tickets were $203, $88 and $48. To generate the same revenue, two nights of performances at the Blaisdell would likely result in prices of $175 for floor and loge seating and $88 for the upper seats, a source said.

Elton John's two concerts here earlier this month attracted some 14,400 people with an average ticket price of $60, sources said. The show grossed $884,000.

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