Date: January 2003

Not surprisingly, among the big arenas in the big towns, Madison Square Garden, New York, lead the list of Top Stops Nov. 15-Dec. 15, 2002. Shows reported included, in order of gross, Peter Gabriel, Shakira, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Other Ones, and the KISS R&B Jam.

Overall, in the selected time period, venues and promoters reported a grand total of 535 events, grossing $75,873,491 from 1,943,547 attending 627 shows. Of that number, 87 were sellouts.The top stop seating 5,000 or less, the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Ga., had a strong run for “Aida.” Runner up, the Murat Theatre, Indianapolis, made its year with a 21-show run of the Radio City Music Hall Spectacular.

Holiday shows were more predominant than usual, with newcomers like Martina McBride joining the Trans Siberian Orchestra and Mannheim Steamroller to fill arenas this season of merriment.In the 5,000-10,000 seat category, a growing market as more secondary-city arenas open, a new one, the John Labatt Centre, London, Ont., proved the point, making top stop. The new Laredo (Texas) Entertainment Center also made the list.

Events in London included one of the few successfully completed Guns 'n' Roses dates before the tour was cancelled.

The older, established Allen County War Memorial Coliseum was second in its category, hosting Martina McBride and John Mellencamp, among others.In the 10,000-15,000-seat range, Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, Mich., hosted the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, A Royal Christmas with Julie Andrews, basketball, Aerosmith, and John Mellencamp.

To report grosses, including all ticketed events except league sports, fax information to Venues Today at 714-378-0040, e-mail to linda@venuestoday.com or mail to P.O. Box 2540, Huntington Beach, Calif. 92647.