Friday, November 30, 2007

Garth Brooks to Play LA to Raise Money for Fire Victims and for the Future of Fire Fighting in California

LOS ANGELES — 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 Jan. 26, 2008, benefit concert at Los Angeles' STAPLES Center will be available Dec. 1. Tickets priced at $38.60 (plus $1.40 city amusement tax and $5 handling charge) for all seats will be available via the Ticketmaster charge-by-phone network and online at Ticketmaster .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 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.

American Express 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 percent of the money is going to victims of the recent fires and to the firefighters facing future fires," said Brooks.

Elected officials on both the state and local levels have already spoken with Brooks to pledge their support for his appearance and efforts to make this important event a reality.

“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."

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. Brooks has earned numerous awards, 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.

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), 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's live entertainment division, AEG LIVE is one of the world's leading concert promotion and touring companies.

American Express Company is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.

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, The Envelope/, Times Community Newspapers, Hoy, and California Community News -- reach approximately 8.1 million or 62 percent of all adults in the Southern California marketplace. __

The McCormick Tribune Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to making life better for 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.

Although Brooks retired from touring nearly a decade ago, he occasionally performs for his favorite charities, and that makes this event unique. Brooks sets a great example for entertainers because he consistently lends his name and talents to important causes. Earlier this month, he launched a pink edition of his "The Ultimate" hits CD available only at the Susan G. Komen Web site.

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