Upcoming Phish shows expected to make beloved jam band Times Union Center attendance champions.
Sorry Billy Joel. Your official all-time attendance record at the Times Union Center is about to sleep with the Phishes.
Barring a cataclysmic event, cancellation or a group of Hicksville-based saboteurs choosing to go to extremes to protect the Piano Man’s dominance, the record Joel first set in April 2007 and extended in March 2010 is going to be officially toppled during Phish’s two-night stand at the Times Union Center on Oct. 16 and 17.
This little nugget of Albany/ Times Union Center history came up on the Times Union’s radar a few weeks ago, when a reader sent an email that read:
“There’s a banner in the rafters at the Times Union Center that proclaims that Billy Joel
has the attendance record at the arena, something that reads ‘All time attendance record’” wrote the emailer. (Note: Joel has had 11 shows, nine of them sellouts.) “With the upcoming Phish shows on Oct 16 and 17, Phish will have played their 12th and 13th shows there. So Phish and Billy Joel are tied right now, although I don’t think they’ve all been sellouts (close, I’m sure) but these shows should put Phish ahead of Joel.
“So, I’m curious, will the arena give a banner to Phish?,” he asked. “Do they keep historic attendance records?”
The emailer, who posted a nearly identical message on the Phish.net message board under the user name Profphan to clue in fellow fans and potentially rally support of a banner honoring Phish, was onto something.
Turns out, the Times Union Center does keep historic attendance record, dating back to the venue’s days as the Knickbocker Arena. Over the course of 11 appearances at the Knick/pepsi Arena/times Union Center, the first on Dec. 9, 1990, and the last a March 11, 2010, co-headlining show with Elton John, Joel has sold 174,818 tickets.
The Times Union Center’s archives show 10 shows, beginning with Dec. 12, 1997 and concluding with a Nov. 28, 2009 concert. These add up to an official tally
A Phish concert promo on the big screen outside the Times Union Center in Albany on Tuesday.