The Cher concert

You're kidding ... right?

Editorial Board

Issue date: 10/4/02 Section: SECTIONS>>Opinion
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Here at the Dakota Student, we don't get it - where did they come from? More than 20,000 fans showed up for the Cher concert Saturday. They flooded into Grand Forks, causing traffic jams and overwhelmed restaurants and pizza joints. The Grand Forks Herald reported that it took some people 1 1/2 hours just to leave the Alerus Center after Cher performed the Grand Forks leg of her "Living Proof" farewell tour.

Cher, known for outrageous concert attire, plastic surgery and musical ability (in that order) became the most attended event at the Alerus Center in its two-year existence. The concert was the most attended Cher concert ever, and not just on this tour, either. Cher's Alerus concert was the biggest live concert in all the years she has been performing.

Think about it - a woman who has had a number-one hit single in four consecutive decades had her most popular and well-attended concert ever, in Grand Forks, N.D. Not New York, not Las Vegas. Statistically speaking, 1/32 of the population of North Dakota was at the concert that night.

Just what is Cher's appeal? Who actually admits to liking Cher? Apparently a lot of people, because they left their hotdishes warming in the oven to hear America's diva sing.

The people at the Alerus Center made a very smart business decision when it booked Cher. It was probably a better business decision than even they knew at the time. The original projected attendance was 16,000, which some thought was optimistic. But faster than 112 could cancel a show, 20,000 conservative Midwesterners had purchased tickets.

Did the Alerus get lucky or what? Actually, the Alerus Center has done a good job of bringing acts into Grand Forks. From the Backstreet Boys to monster trucks and now to Cher, the event center has brought a variety of attractions that appeal to people of different interests and ages into the town spending money at hotels, malls and restaurants.

For an addition to Grand Forks that had many people wondering about the viability of another event center in a state with a population smaller than the twin cities, the Alerus Center has proven that it has a place in Grand Forks.

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