George Strait announces final tour dates at AT&T Stadium

Posted 11:45am on Monday, Sep. 09, 2013

Before “The Cowboy Rides Away,” he’ll play one last show at AT&T Stadium.

While country music legend George Strait has yet to announce when that final gig will be — organizers said the show, which is still being finalized, will be a “record-breaking event” — the second leg of his farewell to touring kicks off Jan. 9 in Bossier City, La.

Strait, along with Jerry Jones, promoter Louis Messina and radio host Lon Helton, gathered Monday at AT&T Stadium to announce the final 26 dates of Strait’s “Cowboy Rides Away” tour.

“When we can somehow couple the image of our stadium and we can get it with a true legend like George Strait, we’ll walk over there and get it done,” Jones said.

The singer-songwriter, who performed at the then-Cowboys Stadium grand opening in June 2009, said during the half-hour press conference, the end of the road is starting to become real.

“It’s going to be a little bittersweet for me,” Strait said. “It’s starting to sink in — it’s sinking in a little more every day. My plan is to keep doing things here and there when I feel like it. Hopefully those opportunities will come along, because I can’t see hanging it up forever, as long as I enjoy doing it.”

(To that end, Strait just re-upped with his long-time label home, MCA Nashville, for another five albums.)

Messina outlined the success of the tour’s first leg: 21 shows, all sold out, including audiences of 80,000 in Houston and 73,000 in San Antonio (both of which sold out in less than three minutes, according to Messina).

The final leg of Strait’s farewell tour will hit 23 arenas (including a stop in Austin) and three stadiums, the last of which will be AT&T Stadium sometime next summer. Each show will have a different opening act and they will be big names: Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Miranda Lambert and Merle Haggard were some of the artists listed by Messina.

“We wanted to get some guys that are really relevant now,” Strait said of the opening acts. “I think it’s going to be fun.”

As the Country Music Hall of Famer glanced around the glass and metal dome Monday, it was evident he was emotional, recalling not only the six times he’s played Texas Stadium in the past, but all those many, many late nights on the road.

“I can remember opening [AT&T Stadium],” Strait said. “It was a good beginning here, and it’s going to be one hell of an ending, whenever we do our last show here.”

For a complete list of tour dates and ticket information, visit Strait’s web site.

Preston Jones, 817-390-7713 Twitter: @prestonjones

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