Diamond... a glittering coup for Blackpool!

Star performer: Neil Diamond is in concert at Bloomfield Road next July ' much to the delight of many in the town
Star performer: Neil Diamond is in concert at Bloomfield Road next July ' much to the delight of many in the town
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The sweet smell of success beckons for Blackpool once more, as excitement is already building for Neil Diamond’s show in the resort.

The Sweet Caroline legend’s show at Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road stadium next summer was announced yesterday, with more than 20,000 people set to attend what is already expected to be a sell out.

Although tickets don’t go on sale until Thursday, Fylde-based promoters Cuffe and Taylor have already experienced high numbers of enquiries about the Thursday, July 23 gig.

Director Peter Taylor said: “It has been overwhelming.

“The phones haven’t stopped all day.

“It has been an amazing response, better than we have ever had really so we’re expecting a very busy day on Thursday.”

The news of the show – Diamond’s only outdoor stadium on his 48-date world tour schedule – was welcomed by music lovers and tourism leaders in the town.

The announcement comes hot-on-the-heels of this summer’s hugely successful show by Rod Stewart at Bloomfield Road, also staged by Cuffe and Taylor.

Neil Carpenter , manager of HMV in Bank Hey Street, said there had been a buzz in storewhere the star’s hits were being played yesterday.

“Neil Diamond is another fantastic name to be coming to the town,” he said.

“It’s definitely a good thing to have these acts coming, and on a regular basis now. It’s a small town in terms of population, but as a destination it’s a big place for visitors and this all helps.

“We’ve got venues of all sizes and it’s good to see them used.

“The reputation for these kind of events really seems to be snowballing now.”

Claire Smith, president of Stay Blackpool representing resort hoteliers, said the show was another opportunity for Blackpool to prove itself ‘the number one for entertainment’, following in the success of the previous years’ Elton John and Rod Stewart shows, as well as Mamma Mia’s summer run at the Opera House.

“These events, for 20,000 people, are proving to be fabulous for our whole economy,” she said.

“People come from far and wide, and it encourages to stay over which means they will eat in our restaurants and drink in our pubs and clubs.”

Mrs Smith also praised the comparitively low ticket prices, which start at £65, saying this encouraged people to ‘make a weekend of it’, as well as hailing the resort’s rejuvenation.

“Something people are saying now, as artists, is how Blackpool is good to them and we make it easy for them to come here and they love playing here,” she added.

“The more big acts who come and say it’s great place to perform, the better.

“Now, we have to work on what has been achieved this year.

“People have stabilised their finances and if we can do the same again next year, there will be money for investment again.”

Tickets for the fully seated concert are priced at £65, £75 and £85 and will go on sale at 9am on Thursday.

They are available online from www.ticketline.co.uk or by calling the ticket line on 0844 888 9991.

You can also book them through the VisitBlackpool Tourist Information Centre on the Promenade by calling in or phoning (01253) 478222 from 9am Thursday.