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Metallica breaks Alerus Center revenue records

James Hetfield belts out a tune during Saturday's Metallica concert at the Alerus Center. Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald

Heavy metal band Metallica broke records for ticket revenue and other sales with its Sept. 8 concert at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, according to the arena's management.

The event, which drew nearly 17,000 fans as part of the band's WorldWired Tour, netted the highest-grossing ticket sales in the building's history, said Anna Rosburg, Alerus Center general manager.

It also broke highest-grossing records for food and beverage sales, merchandise sales, and partnership revenues for one show since the Alerus opened in February 2001, Rosburg said.

The record-breaking food and beverage sales revenue may have been attributable to the fact that Enter Night Pilsner, the band's special, limited-time beer, was available for purchase during the concert, she said.

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The Alerus Center sold 4,744 cans of Enter Night Pilsner and recycled 1,738 pounds of waste.

The economic impact of the event was "tremendous," said Julie Rygg, executive director of the Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Results of the bureau's "event impact summary" reveal that the concert generated $1,492,978 in direct spending within the city. The highest sectors of those sales were in the lodging, food and beverage, and retail categories, Rygg said.

On the night of the show, there were 9,266 overnight attendees, she said.

Two artists still hold the record for highest attendance at an Alerus Center concert. Country music singer George Strait drew about 19,500 for a February 2013 performance, and Cher attracted slightly more than 19,000 in February 2002.

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