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Billboard ranks St. Pete Times Forum among top arenas worldwide


What does it mean when your venue hosts concerts in one year by Celine Dion, the Eagles, Dane Cook, Fleetwood Mac, Britney Spears, Billy Joel and Elton John, Green Day (above), Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Metallica, Judas Priest, Kiss, Sugarland and many more ... all in one year?

It means your venue made a buttload of money in 2009.

Yes, the St. Pete Times Forum has been ranked among the top 10 venues in the world among buildings with a capacity of at least 15,001 seats -- in other words, arenas. The Forum came in 10th, which isn't bad, considering it places Tampa in a category right alongside cities like New York, London and Sydney. Anytime your arena rivals Madison Square Garden, the Staples Center and London's O2 Arena in terms of drawing power, you have to be impressed.

The rankings weren't based solely on musical events -- Walking With Dinosaurs and Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco and similar events were also reasons why the Forum drew in more than 571,000 people, leading to gross receipts of $33.7 million. (In fact, the Forum made $5.25 million just from hosting the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament in March.)

The full top 10, according to Billboard:

1. O2 Arena, London

2. Madison Square Garden, New York

3. Rob Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia

4.AcerArena, Sydney, Australia

5. Air Canada Centre, Toronto

6. Staples Center, Los Angeles

7. Sportpaleis Antwerp, Belgium

8. Bell Centre, Montreal

9. American Airlines Center, Dallas

10. St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:15pm]


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