Those hoping to be entertained by country music legends Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood at Tampa Bay's Amalie Arena this weekend have been waiting on some unanswered prayers.
Brooks and Yearwood were slated to play shows on June 5 and 6, but the arena will be used June 6 for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
An attempt to move both shows to Sunday was considered, according to a release on Brooks' website, but was abandoned due to safety concerns.
A Lightning playoff game in the Eastern Conference finals against New York at Madison Square Garden was postponed a day due to a conflicting Billy Joel concert.
Brooks put out an unusually detailed and sympathetic official statement on his website announcing the shows' cancelation:
“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!!!”
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoff finals will be held Wednesday in Tampa Bay. The puck drops at 8 p.m. ET.