[Update: Brooks' Chicago show will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Tickets are $65.50 and go on sale at 10 a.m. July 25 at www.ticketmaster.com.]
Andy Roberts might be from Atlanta, but Garth Brooks is kicking off his tour in Chicago.
The Brooks fan from Gainesville, Georgia, announced the first city for the country singer’s upcoming tour at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite Monday afternoon after receiving his promised phone call from Brooks.
“He’s such a nice guy,” Roberts said of the singer, with whom he spoke for about 10 minutes. “He started off by saying, ‘Hey buddy! It’s been a few months since we talked.”
In January, Roberts was randomly selected by Brooks to ask a question during one of the singer’s shows in Las Vegas. Roberts’ query was where Brooks would start his tour. Brooks didn’t have an answer at the time, but promised he would call Roberts with the news when it was ready to be announced.
At a live-streamed press conference last week, Brooks said he would be calling “Andy from Atlanta” on Monday.
As promised, the call came about 4:30 p.m.
While Roberts was initially unsure how he would share the information, he decided on The Zone at CHOA after friends informed him that Teammates for Kids, the foundation started by Brooks and Troy Aikman, was a major donor to the 10 Zones around the country.
“I wanted to give back to Garth for all he’s done for me,” Roberts said. “I couldn’t think of a better thing.”
Roberts contacted the hospital on Saturday to set up Monday’s event.
At the unveiling, Roberts was joined by friends and family, as well as patients at the hospital and their parents. A handful of children joined Roberts at the front of the room to simultaneously pull out posters created by the CHOA staff that trumpeted Chicago as the kickoff city for the tour.
Roberts said Brooks didn’t give him any other insider info – such as when he’ll play Atlanta or when the tour will kick off – but those dates are expected to be announced on Tuesday.
Roberts and his wife, Alli, who is pregnant with their third child, plan to be at that first show, baby birth permitting. Brooks didn’t specifically tell Roberts whether he’d hook him up with tickets, but did say, “We’ll be seeing you in Chicago.”
The low-key Roberts, CEO of TurnKey Facility Maintenance in Gainesville, is still a bit awed after a weekend of doing press on local TV and radio, HLN, country radio stations nationwide and the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
As Alli aptly summed up the family’s past few days: “It’s been a trip.”