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'Piano Man' returns to US Bank Arena in 2016

Posted at 11:56 AM, Nov 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-12 11:56:48-05

CINCINNATI — The lineup of performers coming to U.S. Bank Arena in 2016 received a big boost Thursday when officials announced famed piano man, Billy Joel, would perform there April 5, 2016.

Mayor John Cranley shared the news at the riverfront arena alongside representatives from the venue and ticket sales website, Live Nation. Tickets for Joel’s performance will go on sale on Live Nation Nov. 20. Tickets start at $52.50.

Joel’s 1973 chart topping hit,“Piano Man,” launched a decades-spanning career that has made him the third best-selling solo performing artist in the United States. He’s also sold more than 150 million records worldwide and is a six-time Grammy Award winner. He received his first two Grammy awards in 1979 for Record of the Year and Single of the Year for “Just the Way You Are.”

"This is a very special occurrence," said Michael Belkin with Live Nation.

This will be Joel's 12th performance in Cincinnati, according to Sean Lynn with U.S. Bank Arena. The piano man first toured the Tri-State in 1978.

Thursday’s concert announcement comes a day after U.S. Bank Arena revealed that Justin Bieber would be returning to the Queen City on Friday, June 24 as part of his 58-city Purpose World Tour. Tickets for that concert go on sale at noon on Friday, Nov. 20.

Other big concerts coming to U.S. Bank Arena in 2016 include performances from Maroon 5 on Sept. 29 and Selena Gomez on June 5. Tickets for Maroon 5 go on sale via Ticketmaster at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14. Fans can purchase tickets to Gomez’s show beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 through www.livenation.com. The arena, along with Miami University, will also host the 2017 NCAA Hockey Regional tournament.

The list of big name performers also raises the profile of the aging arena built in the 1970s. U.S. Bank Arena owners and operators, Nederlander Entertainment and AEG Facilities unveiled a nearly $200 million renovation plan in late July for the riverfront facility that first opened as Riverfront Coliseum in 1975.  Those plans included adding 1,750 club seats; a new level consisting of 40 to 60 private suites near the arena’s stage; and a completely reimagined exterior.

The group argued those upgrades are imperative if Cincinnati wishes to continue to draw large events to the city. Cincinnati lost a bid in 2014 to host the 2016 Republican National Convention to Cleveland, partially because the arena lacked the suite space for the crowds the convention was expected to draw.

When asked about the need for capital improvements to the arena, Mayor Cranley said it wasn't his place to comment on the issue. He said he was at the conference because he and his wife were huge Billy Joel fans and that he was proud of the city's musical heritage.