Music legend George Strait will play one of his last shows as a touring artist at Tulsa's BOK Center.
King George announced the 2014 dates of his two-year farewell tour in a rare news conference Monday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, that was live-streamed on his website. “The Cowboy Rides Away Tour” will end next summer on a to-be-announced date at the massive home of the Dallas Cowboys.
On April 19, the Texas troubadour will bring his final tour to the BOK Center, where he and Oklahoma native Reba McEntire set a venue record in 2010, selling out their co-headlining gig in less than an hour and marking the first time more than 18,000 tickets were sold for one event at the arena. Strait returned to the BOK Center with Martina McBride for a February 2012 concert.
Pre-sale Sept. 24
George Strait fan club members will have an opportunity to purchase tickets during a pre-sale period beginning at 10 a.m. in the venue's respective time zone on Sept. 24, according to a news release. In addition, American Express Card members will get to purchase tickets before the general public. Tickets for the general public will go on sale in select markets beginning at 10 a.m. Sept. 27.
Ticket prices and on-sale date for the 2014 Tulsa show have not yet been announced, according a venue spokeswoman.
Along with unveiling the final 26 markets he will visit next winter and spring, Strait, 61, revealed he will have special guests on each tour weekend that will be matched with the corresponding tour date and market via a “tweet to unlock” campaign. Special guests will include McBride, Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert, former Tulsan Ronnie Dunn, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Little Big Town, Merle Haggard, Lee Ann Womack, Chris Young and more.
In January, the superstar played the second sold-out show on his 2013-14 farewell trek at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. McBride was the opening act for the 2013 leg of “The Cowboy Rides Away Tour.”
“The first leg of the tour earlier this year was very fun, but also very emotional,” Strait said. “Every city and venue holds such great memories. I'm really looking forward to seeing our fans out on the road in 2014.”
Strait, who in November will become the first country artist to receive Billboard's highest accolade, the Legends of Live Award, didn't have to switch up his tried-and-true show format for his farewell tour.
During his Oklahoma City show, however, he pulled up a stool and for the first time regaled the fans with tales of his early days recording in Nashville, Tenn., punctuated with deep album cuts like “Honky Tonk Crazy” and classic hits like “Marina del Rey.”
“I am excited about the tour next year. It's gonna be a little bittersweet for me. It's starting to sink in now after the first leg of the tour, and it's sinking in a little more and more every day,” Strait said. “So, it'll be a little tough next year saying goodbye to some of those places, but my plan is to keep doing things here and there when I feel like it. And hopefully those opportunities will come along for me, ‘cause I can't see hanging it up for good, ever.”
60 No. 1's
Strait has sold 68 million records in his three-decade career and recently notched his unprecedented 60th No. 1 hit with “Give It All We Got Tonight,” the first single from his 2013 album “Love Is Everything.”
Despite his plans to stop touring, the singer has been adamant that he wants to keep making music. MCA Nashville, Strait's label home since his 1981 debut, “Strait Country,” recently announced that it was extending the superstar's recording contract for five more albums.
Strait told reporters at Monday's news conference that he plans to do more songwriting once his touring career is over.
“If I have one regret in my career, which has been great and it's hard to come up with one, that would be it, that I kind of quit writing for years. Because starting out, I loved to write and wrote a lot and then I just kind of got away from it,” he said. “Now I'm getting back into it more, so I'm really enjoying that a lot. I'm writing with my son and other writers, so it's a lot of fun.”