Garth Brooks cancels Tampa Bay shows amid Stanley Cup Final scheduling conflict
The thunder rolls and the lightning strikes, another love grows cold on a sleepless night.
Those lyrics from Garth Brooks' 1990 song, "The Thunder Rolls," are suddenly applicable for an entirely different reason.
Brooks and fellow country singer Trisha Yearwood have canceled three shows planned for Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay on June 5 and 6 because Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final is scheduled for the latter date.
The performers issued the following statement on Sunday:
First of all, we would all like to congratulate the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Chicago Blackhawks for reaching the Stanley Cup Final. As we now know, Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final is being played on Saturday, June 6th. All parties looked into moving Saturday’s two Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood shows to Sunday. The issue of getting the network crews and their gear out of the building and getting our crews and gear into the building late Saturday/early Sunday for two shows on Sunday raises serious safety concerns. It is because of those safety concerns that the choice is being made to refund all shows and reschedule depending on finding a date that works for both the arena and the tour.
This was a hard decision for everyone. We would like to thank Elmer Straub at Amalie Arena and Tod Leiweke with the Tampa Bay Lightning for working around the clock for the last 48 hours to find a remedy for the situation. We personally know Gary Bettman and are very familiar with the League and its players, coaches, and staff … they are all stand-up people. We are convinced everything that could have been done was done to try to remedy the situation. Congrats again to the City of Tampa, good luck, and we will be watching the series!!!
Brooks and Yearwood said they regret that no compromise could be agreed upon.
"We had hoped to be able to reach an acceptable solution in the best interest of all involved but due to safety considerations it is just not possible."
Full refunds for the shows will be issued, which would have taken place on June 5 at 7:00 p.m. EST, as well as June 6 at 7:00 p.m. ET and 10:30 p.m. ET.
The Lightning hold home-ice advantage by virtue of finishing the regular season with six more points than the Blackhawks.
Country music fans in Tampa Bay probably wish they had friends in higher places.
- With h/t to CBS Eye on Hockey