Update Jan. 10 at 5:06 p.m.: The clues seem to have led us in the right direction. The Piano Man himself, Billy Joel, is slated to perform at Globe Life Park in Arlington on Oct. 12, 2019, we confirmed Thursday.
Turns out, Ticketmaster let the news slip early. On Thursday morning, the service sent out a special offer to music lovers encouraging them to sign up as Verified Fans to gain access to tickets. Verified Fan sign up is expected to run Jan. 10-13, before tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, Jan. 18 via Ticketmaster.
"Billy Joel is an iconic artist and we are thrilled to have such a respected musician perform at Globe Park," said Sean Decker, the Rangers vice president of operations and events. "The concert will create a legendary experience for baseball and music fans alike. It's the perfect sendoff as we prepare to move into Globe Life Field."
The Texas Rangers ballpark was one of five stadium concerts Joel announced Thursday. The others will take place at Milwaukee Miller Park, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Fenway Park in Boston and Coors Field in Denver.
In the runup to Christmas, when nobody’s working at all, an email landed in the inbox. It was a save the date announcement to announce a concert billed as the “Final Show at Globe Life Park.”
This struck me as a little odd for two reasons:
One, you don’t normally have an announcement to save the date for an announcement. Two, the “Final Show” seems to be pretty big billing for a show considering Globe Life Park won’t host what ballpark officials call its first concert tour stop until June. The last show will actually be the second. Paul McCartney will be the first.
It all added up to one great big mystery, one that I wanted to solve because, hey, it’s my job and also because I like concerts.
Well, I may not have absolute confirmation, but I’ve got a theory.
Put it this way: I don’t think the Rangers will be playing the New York Yankees in the 2019 playoffs, but I do think fans could still be in a New York State of Mind this autumn.
Things just add up to Billy Joel, the Piano Man, being the guy to turn the lights out at Globe Life Field.
To be clear: This is speculation. We won't know who is performing until the official announcement on Jan. 10.
You may be right; I may be crazy. Rangers officials all but ran the other way when I tried to run my theory by them. Multiple officials declined to confirm or deny anything. A representative for LiveNation, which is presenting the show, declined to confirm or deny any speculation Thursday.
Start with this: The Rangers went for a multi-generational icon for their first show. It seems like that would be the focus for the second, particularly if they are taking the time to pre-announce a press conference to announce the act. Joel, who has played with McCartney before, certainly fits that profile.
And two unrelated hints may have dropped in early January. First, it won’t be that multi-generational icon, who brings fans by the flock, Jimmy Buffett. His Dallas tour date was announced Jan. 3. He will play Dos Equis Pavilion at Fair Park on June 8. Second, Joel announced his second MLB stadium date in less than a month with a press conference at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park.
Other “fits” would theoretically be the Eagles, fronted by Dallas resident Don Henley, and Texas legend George Strait. But the Eagles haven’t announced any U.S. tour dates for 2019 and they’ve already been used for to christen one arena in town, the American Airlines Center in 2000. And Strait is already booked for a special show in the D-FW area; he’ll be the opening act at Fort Worth’s new Dickies Arena in November. He also opened AT&T Stadium in 2009.
There are other reasons to believe Joel will be the Big Shot to send off the Ballpark. Among them:
He’s got an affection for baseball and baseball stadiums
Just consider that in one of Joel’s two No. 1 hits (“We Didn’t Start the Fire”), there are no fewer than five baseball references to Joe DiMaggio, Roy Campanella, The Brooklyn Dodgers winning the World Series, Mickey Mantle and the move towards California baseball expansion.
More significantly, since 2015, Joel has played 15 major league stadiums. He’s announced two shows in the last month, both at MLB parks: Phoenix’s Chase Field in March and the Philly show for June.
He’s known for big finales and opening nights
Joel, a native of New York (as if, you weren’t aware), closed out Shea Stadium with a show known as the “Last Play at Shea,” which was then turned into a concert documentary in 2010. More recently, Joel’s show at Sun Trust Park in Atlanta was the first concert at that new stadium when it opened in 2017.
It’s Dallas’ turn
Joel hasn’t played Dallas since January 2015. He’s made Texas stops since in Houston (November 2015) and San Antonio (December 2016).
It presents a symbolic musical coda to the ballpark’s tenure as the Rangers’ home
While this would probably be more coincidence than anything else, it does present an opportunity to nice symmetry for the stadium. The Ballpark in Arlington opened in 1994 with the great pianist Van Cliburn playing "The Star-Spangled Banner" on a piano on the infield. What more appropriate way to bring down the curtain than with the Piano Man?
Hey, I could be wrong.
If so, I’ll just blame it on all the “Pressure.”