CANCELED: John Legend, James Taylor gala celebration concert at Times Union Center

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Times Union Center won’t be getting the grand-reopening it originally planned.

A major concert featuring James Taylor, John Legend, Jim Belushi, and Moriah Formica scheduled for January 26 at the Times Union Center has been canceled.

A Times Union Center representative said in a press release Sunday morning that the Grand Re-Opening Celebration Gala was canceled due to unforeseen circumstances involving the promoter of the show.

According to the Times Union Center, refunds will be available at the original point of purchase immediately. Tickets purchased online through Ticketmaster or over the phone will be automatically refunded to the credit card used to make the purchase.

The Times Union Center general manager, Bob Belber told NEWS10 ABC that the promoter defaulted on its license agreement, meaning it didn’t have the funds to support the event. As a result, the TU Center found it impossible to put the show on.

Belber went on to say that it is rare for this to happen and that they’ve worked with this promoter many times in the past.

“I wanted to see him before he gets to that age where he stops touring,” said Amanda Wilcox, a ticket holder who was hoping to see James Taylor.

She has been a James Taylor fan her whole life. Wilcox jumped on the chance to see him in person and the others on the slate.

“It was kind of a bonus that he was going to be there too,” Wilcox said, referring to John Legend.

It is not often that she does something for herself, with four kids at home. But, she was going to, until the arena announced that the concert cancelled.

“It’s usually doing something for them or sometimes money gets tight so kind of splurge one time and it gets cancelled,” Wilcox said.

The Gala celebration and concert was scheduled to commemorate the renovation of the arena that cost millions of dollars to complete.

Also some of the proceeds from ticket sales were going towards the pediatric emergency department at Albany Medical Center.

Belber said none of this had to do with the fact that John Legend had another concert on the same day in New York City or with ticket sales.

“We couldn’t put Albany County in the position where it was solely responsible,” Belber said. “We really feel bad for the county and for the fact that they were going to celebrate this event and give the opportunity for the public to come in and see this great facility and the investment that’s been made here and all of the great renovations,

He says they were selling solidly, nearly 6,000 tickets sold out of the 10,000 available. They may have been able to take on the show themselves if it sold out. Belber is disappointed, but still plans to hold a celebration event sometime this year.

“Tickets were selling solidly and the ad campaign was excellent,” Belber said. “It’s disappointing all the way around.”

But Belber doesn’t feel this will hurt their legacy. This week they plan to announce two big concerts they expect to sell out.

If James Taylor isn’t there, Wilcox will find another way to make her dream come true.

“I won’t stop until I see him, it’s kind of on my bucket list I guess you could say,” Wilcox said.

NEWS10 ABC reached out to the promoter, Metropolitan Entertainment Consultants LLC, to try to understand why they couldn’t come up with the funds. They have not responded at this time.

Refunds are available for all ticket holder by contacting their point of purchase.



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