The Rolling Stones have chosen AEG Live to promote their upcoming North American tour, according to concert-business sources privy to the tour negotiations, after the concert giant made what one source calls "a real crazy offer" to outbid a coalition of promoters including Australia's Paul Dainty and veteran independent companies in U.S. cities. The Stones will receive between $4 million and $5 million per show, which likely means top tickets will cost $500 to $650 – slightly less than what the band charged for the priciest seats at its shows in Brooklyn, Newark and London in late 2012.
UPDATE: A source close to the negotiations says AEG merely took over a bid made by Dainty's coalition, at the Stones' request – and didn't have to make a bid of its own.
As previously reported, the tour will include 18 North American arena dates. A source close to the band told Rolling Stone the tour is set to kick off on May 2nd. The Stones will also play London's Hyde Park in July, and may add European festival dates. It's possible the Stones might expand the tour even further later in 2013, but the band has no concrete plans. "Are the Stones going to do anything after this? I doubt it," says one source. Adds another source, "Look, anything's possible. But it's Mick and Keith's show, so we don't know."
The Stones were planning to go with Dainty's group until Tuesday morning, when a lawyer for the Stones called AEG executives and granted the bid before lunch. AEG tentatively plans to announce the tour in early April. Sources for the Los Angeles promoter – the world's second-biggest after Live Nation – declined to comment.
The Stones, who haven't done a full tour since 2006-2007, grossed $18.3 million with their four North American shows last year, according to Pollstar. After the 2012 run, which included guests from Lady Gaga to the Black Keys, the band seemed energized. "This thing wasn't enough," Keith Richards told Rolling Stone in early January. "It would be dopey to bring things up to this level and say, 'Well, that's that, 50 years, bye-bye.' Really, all you're going to have to do is wait for an announcement."