Be seated:

Up­com­ing Phish shows ex­pected to make beloved jam band Times Union Cen­ter at­ten­dance cham­pi­ons.

Albany Times Union - Sunday - - UNWIND - By Jim Sha­hen Jr.

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

John Carl D’an­ni­bale / Times Union

A Phish con­cert promo on the big screen out­side the Times Union Cen­ter in Al­bany on Tues­day.

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