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November 17, 2018

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Photos: George Strait becomes first headliner at Las Vegas Arena

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Mark Damon / Las Vegas News Bureau

George Strait announces an exclusive engagement in Las Vegas in 2016 at a news conference Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at MGM Grand. Strait will be among the first entertainers to perform at the Las Vegas Arena scheduled to open in April. Strait also announced the Sept. 25 release of his new album, “Cold Beer Conversation.”

George Strait to Play Las Vegas Arena

George Strait announces an exclusive engagement in Las Vegas in 2016 at a news conference Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, at MGM Grand. Strait will be among the first entertainers to perform at the Las Vegas Arena scheduled to open in April. Launch slideshow »

George Strait at MGM Grand

It was the best-kept entertainment secret in Las Vegas — until this morning, when MGM Resorts International executives revealed their deal with “The King of Country Music,” George Strait, to headline the opening of the new Las Vegas Arena next spring.

George may well have said that he wasn’t going to tour anymore, but he didn’t say that he was retiring. He will be among the first entertainers to perform at Las Vegas Arena scheduled to open in April. The Country Music Hall of Fame inductee will thrill crowds with concert from April 22-23 and Sept 9-10.

Grammy, ACM and CMA Award-winning singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves, who has released her second album, “Pageant Material,” to critical acclaim will open for George. MGM execs say this is the first of an exciting lineup.

Here’s a YouTube video of this morning’s announcement with George.

Tickets go on sale Friday, Oct. 2, at 10 a.m. PT at StraitToVegas.com and are $75 to $200, plus fees. American Express Card Members can purchase tickets before the public beginning Friday, Sept. 25, at 10 a.m. PT through Thursday, Oct. 1, at 10 p.m. PT.

“This is an exciting announcement for the Las Vegas Arena and another example of why Las Vegas is the Entertainment Capital of the World,” said Rick Arpin, senior vice president of entertainment and development, MGM Resorts International, in a news release.

“We are thrilled that George is going to be a huge part of our opening season with this special exclusive engagement. He has had a significant impact on our city’s entertainment landscape over the years, and we are thrilled he will provide Las Vegas visitors and our local community the opportunity to see a series of additional legendary performances.”

George said: “I said all along I wasn’t going to tour anymore, but I also said that I wasn’t retiring by any means, and I still wanted to do some dates. I’ve been working a little bit here and there, and I’m really proud of a new album that’s coming out.

“I think it’s a great record. I always say this — I think it’s one of the best records I’ve done. I always shoot for that. You’ve got to go in the studio thinking that way, so I’m very excited about that .

“I’m also very excited to be coming back out and playing for the fans out there. I’m looking forward to it so much, singing those songs that I love so much and haven’t done in a while. I’m really, really looking forward to being able to play in the new Las Vegas Arena. I hear it’s just unbelievable. I can’t wait.”

George releases his new album, “Cold Beer Conversation,” on Friday, as he announced at this morning’s MGM Grand news conference. The album features 13 songs, including his latest single, “Cold Beer Conversation,” premiering on country radio Wednesday.

The album is available as an exclusive digital download on iTunes, available for pre-order and will be available Friday exclusively via Apple Music and at Wal-Mart. This is the first new studio album in two years from the MCA Nashville recording artist.

With 60 No. 1 singles and more than 68.5 million records sold, George is well deserving of the title music legend as the most-nominated artist in CMA Awards history and with a career spanning more than three decades. He was the first country music artist honored with Billboard’s “Legend of Live” Award, and he earned 2013’s Entertainer of the Year from the Country Music Association as well as 2014’s Entertainer of the Year from the Academy of Country Music.

MGM’s Las Vegas Arena, in partnership with AEG, is a privately funded $375 million indoor arena set to open in April. The 20,000-seat venue, west of the Las Vegas Strip between New York-New York and Monte Carlo, is expected to host more than 100 events annually, including UFC, boxing, hockey, basketball and other sporting events, major headline entertainment, awards and family shows.

Our city’s newest landmark will feature 50 luxury suites, more than two dozen private loge boxes, complete broadcast facilities and other specially designed hospitality offerings and fan amenities.

So with ice hockey fans waiting on edge for the NHL to approve an expansion team for Las Vegas to call the new arena home, the first part of the entertainment jigsaw puzzle has dropped into place with the arrival of the King of Country.

Robin Leach of “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” fame has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past 15 years giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Las Vegas Sun Entertainment + Luxury Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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