Billy Joel Concert

Fans wait in long security lines before a Billy Joel concert at Pinnacle Bank Arena in March. This weekend, Garth Brooks will hold five concerts over three days and officials have tips on getting around in the Haymarket.

Journal Star file photo

More than 67,000 people will descend on the Haymarket Friday through Sunday for the five Garth Brooks concerts at Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The shows are set for 7 p.m. Friday, and 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

The weekend doubleheaders will challenge the Haymarket's infrastructure — no, you won't be able to park at the front door. Restaurant and bar owners will be adjusting their staff schedules. Arena workers will be busy turning over the building (getting concertgoers out and cleaning the concourses and seating areas) in time to open the security lines for the later shows.

You know all of the songs from Garth's playlist. But consider these tips for attending weekend concerts:


Fewer than 2,000 tickets remain, in total, for the five shows. Most are for the 7:30 p.m. Sunday concert. All tickets are $74.98 and available in advance at or by phone at 866-448-7849 or 800-745-3000.

Day-of-show tickets, if any remain, will be available at the arena ticket office. The ticket office will open daily at 11:30 a.m.

Getting to the arena

Concertgoers are urged to consider parking in the festival lot north of the arena and using the pedestrian bridge to get to and from the Haymarket. The festival lot is the cheapest parking option, and with so much traffic in the Haymarket — cars and people — the parking area accessed from Sun Valley Boulevard offers an easy-in, easy-out option.

“We’ll be able to park not only in the festival lot, but since the Saltdogs aren’t having games now, there will be plenty of parking there as well,” said arena manager Tom Lorenz. “The (Haymarket parking garages) will fill up pretty quickly, and I don’t want people to get frustrated trying to park in the garages. There is plenty of parking in the north lot.”

With two concerts on Saturday and Sunday, afternoon concertgoers will likely fill the garages in the Haymarket, and depending on how many stick around to dine or drink after the first show, spots may not turn over in time.

The confluence of coming and going traffic, not to mention pedestrians, will make driving through the Haymarket a slow-go. Consider using back roads, or in this case Arena Drive. Traffic on Arena Drive often flows smoothly, assuming you enter and exit from N Street on the south or Salt Creek Roadway on the north.

And, as always with events at the arena, parking in the downtown area — east of Ninth Street — opens up more options. And even though you'll walk a few extra steps, there's a good chance you'll get out of the downtown area sooner.

“92,000 people find places to park for football," Lorenz said. "For this it will be 28,000 over two shows.”

Entering the show

Gates to the arena will open 90 minutes before the Friday show and the 3 p.m. shows on Saturday and Sunday. Gates for the evening shows on Saturday and Sunday will open about an hour before the show.

The Saturday and Sunday evening shows are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. However, when Brooks played Omaha’s CenturyLink Center in 2015, the start of the second of two shows was delayed until the arena filled.

Concertgoers for all shows are advised to arrive early in order to go through security screening. There is no opener before Garth takes the stage, so early arrival is suggested to guarantee getting to your seats before showtime.

North and south entrances will be open, but those who have credit card-entry tickets must use the designated entrance, which is at the arena’s main south doors.

The clear-bag policy established for Husker sporting events will be in effect for the Brooks concerts. Allowed items can be packed in a clear-plastic bag for the shows, and only small clutch purses measuring no larger than 4½ inches by 6½ inches will be allowed into the arena.

No backpacks. No cameras with detachable lenses. No pocket knives. No iPads. No binocular cases.

Signs with messages for Brooks — 11 inches by 17 inches or smaller — will be allowed into the arena.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or

On Twitter @LJSWolgamott.


Entertainment reporter/columnist

L. Kent Wolgamott is an entertainment reporter and columnist.

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