While many concert-goers spent Monday with ringing ears and hoarse voices, workers at the SaskTel Centre were cleaning up after six massive Garth Brooks shows.
SaskTel Centre executive director Scott Ford said that from stagehands to ushers and concession workers, it took over 700 people in the arena to make the shows happen. Adding in all the shuttle bus drivers, city transit workers, Saskatoon police and people who helped direct traffic outside, about 900 people were involved in the effort.
“It was such a great team effort and we’re very proud of the great job that everybody did,” Ford said.
With the shows wrapped up, Ford was able to share some final numbers from the six-concert series held over four days.
He said a total of 94,655 people came through the doors, and he said they weren’t shy about shelling out for swag and goodies. Ford said they booked about $1.5 million in food and beverage sales, and a further $1 million in merchandise. He said those numbers are in line with what they’d expect from a sold-out show, except multiplied by six.
Along with the profitable event, Ford said many staff have great memories of working the shows, and interacting with Brooks and wife and fellow country megastar Trisha Yearwood.
“(Brooks’ and Yearwood’s) whole team, from all of their crew that works on the production, to the people that handle Garth and Trisha — they’re fabulous people. They’re wonderful people to work with,” Ford said.
Todd Brandt, president and CEO of Tourism Saskatoon, said they were still working to tally the total economic impact of the shows. He said they were projecting somewhere around $12 million dollars injected into city businesses.
“Adding value to this is the fact that such a large percentage was from outside of the city, which really helps our local restaurants, retail outlets, the accomodation sector — everybody benefits,” he said.
Brandt said the shows also drew a lot of people who might otherwise never have come to the Bridge City, and there’s no doubt at least some of them will be coming back.
“Saskatoon is showing so well at this time of year that we know we’re going to get some return business from people that never anticipated visiting Saskatoon before. That’s one of the benefits from having such a good draw — even (people) from the northern U.S. came in,” he said.