Canadian hard rock band Nickelback‘s 2009 tour is already ahead of its 2007 pace by 20 percent, according to tour promoter Live Nation. The quartet has sold over 210,000 tickets — about 70 percent of the inventory — with an increase of about 62 percent in gross revenues due to higher ticket prices.

The 28-date North America leg of the tour kicks off on February 25 in Nashville, TN and winds down on April 22 in Jacksonville, FL. Six concerts have been booked internationally starting on May 22 in Manchester, ENG, with more shows to be added. Then Nickelback will return to the United States for a tour of Live Nation sheds this summer.

Nickelback signed to Live Nation Artists in July, which Reuters reported was worth between $50-$70 million. This is the debut tour under the long-term contract, which is for three albums and touring cycles.

The foursome just released an album, “Dark Horse,” which is No. 4 on the Billboard album charts on its old label, Roadrunner, and the band owes Roadrunner one more album. However, Nickelback’s touring cycle starts with “Dark Horse,” and will probably be for more than three cycles.

Live Nation acquired 12 separate artist rights to feed its global distribution pipeline touring, tour sponsorship, tour merchandise, tour VIP/travel packages, secondary ticketing, recorded music, clothing, licensing and other retail merchandise, non-tour sponsorship and endorsements, DVD and broadcast rights, fan club, Web site and literary rights

“Ticket sales for 2009 concerts are continuing to pace ahead of historic trends despite the global economic slowdown,” said Jason Garner, CEO of Live Nation Global Music, said in a statement. “Nickelback sales being 20 percent ahead of their last tour is consistent with what we are seeing from many of the tours currently on sale. While we continue to monitor the effect of the economy on our business, all of our data indicates that we are one of the only consumer businesses resilient to the economic downturn.”

Nickelback’s previous tours have grossed in excess of $100 million in ticket sales and have sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.

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