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Platinum Bash Not A Smash

12:01 PM Friday 5/8/09 | |

Students are always getting scolded for losing their homework, but it isn’t too often that you hear about them getting knocked for losing nearly $1 million.

Despite its name, turnout for the Last Smash Platinum Bash, a student-sponsored concert featuring Jay-Z, Kelly Clarkson, Third Eye Blind and The Veronicas at the University of Arizona’s stadium in Tucson, was less than golden.

In fact, the April 29 concert – the first at the football stadium in more than 30 years – left the university’s Associated Student government more than $900,000 in the red, according to the school’s Daily Wildcat.

The event cost $1.42 million total, but the ASUA made only about $500,000 on tickets and merchandise, the paper said.

Jay-Z was reportedly paid $750,000 for his performance.

Outgoing ASUA President Tommy Bruce chalked up the loss to the economy, explaining the organization had “exhausted every avenue” in its attempt to sell 30,000 tickets to the show, for which planning began last year.

“Nobody predicted the economy would be the way it is now last May,” he told the paper. “The economy was getting worse, but we had already committed to doing a show.”

In the end, the ASUA reported that 11,500 people had attended the show, but only 6,100 of those were paid tickets, some of which cost as much as $200. The organization reportedly handed out nearly 5,000 tickets in newspaper, radio and student government promotions.

The student organization will apply its entire $350,000 budget reserve along with a loan from the university’s book store to cover the loss, which will be paid back over a five-year period, the Daily Wildcat reported.

While the event was largely considered an epic failure, it looks like Chris Nagata, the incoming president for the organization, has plans to give concert promoting the old college try once again next year – just not stadium-size shows.

“We’ll look for different ways so that we’re not taking as big a financial risk,” he told the paper.


  1. Anonymous wrote:

    03:33 PM, May 11, 2009

    I saw a comment somewhere about how these people try to put blame on the economy. They started planning this since last May. Sure there was no way to see this meltdown of sorts happen with the economy, but they had a YEAR to plan. A whole year. And seriously, after 30 years, why would you go all out and plan such a big show?? Test the waters first or something, jeez.

  2. Anonymous wrote:

    01:39 PM, May 11, 2009

    Like Burnin E said, there's no way I'd pay that much for Jay-Z. Sure he's a "legend" (I guess) if only for career longevity, but still... Ugh.

    I do disagree about not wanting to see him with Kelly Clarkson though, I'd go see both of them... but I am just one person. And while I WOULD pay for a Kelly ticket, I would NOT pay for a Jay-Z ticket. Especially not $200.

    Super poor planning. In this case, when you're already $900k in debt, might not be a good idea to try again next year, even if it's not a stadium show! Perhaps the university should spend money to add business and financial management classes to their curriculum.

  3. astan51 wrote:

    09:50 AM, May 11, 2009

    half the total cost was payed to Jay-Z, LOL

    why would they pay so much for him. its a school, he should have done it for way cheap. whay a rip off these artist are becoming, wait, is he not managed by live nation now? that may explain it

  4. El Perro wrote:

    09:05 AM, May 11, 2009


    These kids got what they deserved.  This was a boondoggle from the get go. Jay Z fans do not want to see Kelly Clarkson and vice versa.  Genre exclusivity is a fact of life. You can try to be politically correct and mix genres and ethnicities together, but the vast majority of the time, this kind of Crash&Burn will be the result.

    Unfortunately, the kids on the production board will only have to suffer some embarassment and ridicule as a result, but no personal financial loss. Meanwhile, the student body and future entertainment productions will suffer for years as a result.

  5. Emerson Biggens wrote:

    07:54 PM, May 10, 2009

    3/4 of mil,?!!?! For What Jay-z calls music? ...........*shaking head, rolling eyes, heaving sigh of disgust*.............

  6. Burnin E wrote:

    11:59 AM, May 10, 2009

    They Paid Jay- Z $750,000.00??? They must of been on drugs

    He's not worth $750.00.

    they could have attracted a bigger crowed with battle of the bands

    and not had to pay the bands.

    I wouldn't let this Student body organize  a Orgy In a Whorehouse....

    they'd screw it up

  7. morrisonrocks wrote:

    06:30 AM, May 10, 2009

    Did anyone stop and think that mixing pop, rock, and rap artists was not a good idea?  Who would pay to see all three at once?  The genre of arena rock gets its name for a reason, it is the only genre capable of tearing the roof off a stadium.  Third Eye Blind hardly qualifies and Kelly Clarkson probably rocked the hardest.

Artists Mentioned in this article