YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- As of 9:30 this morning, about 80 people -- some standing, some relaxing in lawn chairs – were waiting outside the Covelli Centre hoping to snag tickets to one of the biggest shows ever held at the arena.
Ticket sales for rock superstar Rod Stewart's August 24 appearance here went on sale at 10 a.m., but a few showed up early so they could grab the best seats in the house.
"I've been here since 5 a.m.," said Shirley Mayti of Austintown, who along with three of her friends camped just outside the box office doors awaiting first dibs on the best tickets.
"I had tickets to see him back in the early '70s, and his show got cancelled. I haven't had a chance since then," Mayti recalled. "So, this is my chance. I'm getting tickets. I don't care what price."
Stewart is the second high-profile rock artist to play the Covelli Centre this year. On Feb. 1, Sir Elton John performed to a sold-out crowd for his second concert in less than four years at the city-owned arena.
Like John, Stewart is part of a second wave of British artists who climbed the charts during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The singer/songwriter cut his teeth with the Jeff Beck Group and The Faces during the late 1960s while at the same time forging his early solo career.
By the mid-1970s, Stewart became a megastar on the heels of such hits as his signature classics "Maggie Mae," "Tonight's the Night," "You Wear It Well," and "You're In My Heart."
"I just like all his music," says Linda Ference, who has plans to spend her 41st wedding anniversary at the Aug. 24 show. "I've been waiting for two and a half hours. I've tried to purchase tickets on the computer, but I'd much rather be here in person."
Kelsey Rupert, director of marketing and sales at the Covelli Centre, reports sales are brisk, but there were still really great seats available for the show as of 11 a.m.
There are just under 6,000 seats available for the show, Rupert noted.
"I hope to get in the front row," says Ashley McAllister of Poland, who had stood in line for 45 minutes. "I love him. I'm excited."
McAllister says she's seen Stewart in concert several times, all of them in larger venues in Pittsburgh or Cleveland.
"You can't get a bad seat here," she says of the Covelli Centre.
Copyright 2014 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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