Ed Sheeran: 'Extremely unlikely' there will be a 'surprise' Christchurch concert
Ed Sheeran has announced two extra New Zealand shows, but cold water has been poured on speculation he will play a surprise Christchurch concert.
Rumours swirled that Christchurch hotels were warned to brace themselves for an influx of bookings in the week between the wildly popular singer-songwriter's Auckland and Dunedin concerts.
Frontier Touring, who on Wednesday afternoon announced a third Auckland concert on Monday, March 26 and second Dunedin concert on Saturday, March 31, said it was unlikely that Sheeran would announce any further performances for New Zealand cities as his schedule did not allow for it.
VBase general manager Darren Burden confirmed they had no bookings for Sheeran at any of their Christchurch venues, which include AMI Stadium and Horncastle Arena.
"The shows have gone on sale – they have been announced. It would be extremely unlikely for there to be an Ed Sheeran show in Christchurch."
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Burden suggested it was probably "wishful thinking" on behalf of Cantabrians, something he admitted to sharing.
He said his team was in constant discussions with promoters to secure the next major event for the city. They tried to have at least one non-rugby event at AMI Stadium each year.
AMI Stadium hosted Bruce Springsteen earlier this year and the Foo Fighters in 2015 – the same year Ed Sheeran last played in Christchurch at Horncastle Arena.
"We don't have anything confirmed at this stage, but we are talking to a number of promoters. We'll just have to see what happens."
DUNEDIN OVER THE MOON
Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium has a capacity of 40,000 people, meaning 80,000 people for the Sheeran double-header.
That would be 5000 more than the Fleetwood Mac concert of 2015, with each concert to pump $10 million into the city.
Pre-sale tickets for Sheeran's first, Thursday March 29, show were snapped up within minutes.
Accommodation remained tight around the first concert, which would be held before Good Friday and was selling fast after the second concert announcement.
Issues over Easter, particularly the hospitality industry, were issues yet to be ironed out, Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie said.
The city proved it could host large events, such as All Black tests.
There was no other comparable event for the city, "and I think this is significant being a double header".
Each concert was expected to sell out, with both Dunedin shows going on public sale at 2pm on Tuesday May 23 through Ticketmaster.
"It shows Dunedin is on the map for major events of this nature," Christie said.
Terry Davies, of Dunedin Venues Management Ltd (DVML), said stadium staff were "over the moon" Sheeran would perform twice in the city.