Bruce Springsteen closed the old Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, but it will be another hometown hero who stages the first concerts at the $1.6 billion venue next spring. During a press conference on October 22, rock band Bon Jovi staged a mini-concert in the stadium’s parking lot and confirmed a pair of kick-off concerts, as well as a 2010 tour.

The first leg of the Circle World Tour will hit 26 cities from February 19 at KeyArena in Seattle, WA, through April 22 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC. Opening concerts at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, are queued up for the next month on May 26 and 27.

Highlights on the winter and spring schedule include performances on March 2 at Arco Arena in Sacramento, CA; March 19-20 at Bell Centre in Montreal, QC; March 23-24 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, PA; and April 15 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA.

After an overseas leg of dates, including a June residency at the O2 Arena in London, ENG, Bon Jovi will be back in North America for its next round of shows. Only six dates are on the summer itinerary at this time, beginning with a July 15 session at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, AB, and continuing through July 30 at Soldier Stadium in Chicago, IL.

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Ultimately, the tour is expected to run through 2011, spanning 135 concerts in 30 countries. The Meadowlands concerts will go on sale October 31, followed by sales for the additional North American tour dates on November 9 and 16.

“We’re very excited to be the guys they chose to open up the new venue,” band frontman Jon Bon Jovi said in between songs during his band’s parking lot performance. The event was streamed live on the band’s official Web site.

Bon Jovi will be touring in support of its eleventh studio album, “The Circle,” which is scheduled for a November 10 release. The band’s previous Long Highway Tour was named the top-grossing tour of 2008 in Billboard‘s annual Year in Music report. That tour had opened with a nine-show run at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, at the end of 2007 and continued across the nation through spring 2008.

Bon Jovi itinerary:
(Dates are subject to change.)

February 19 Seattle, WA KeyArena
February 22 San Jose, CA HP Pavilion
February 24 Phoenix, AZ Arena
February 26 Anaheim, CA Honda Center
March 2 Sacramento, CA ARCO Arena
March 4 Los Angeles, CA Staples Center
March 6 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
March 8 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
March 9 Omaha, NE Qwest Center
March 11 Wichita, KS INTRUST Bank Arena
March 13 Fargo, ND Fargodome
March 15 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
March 17 Detroit, MI The Palace of Auburn Hills
March 19 – 20 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
March 23 – 24 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Center
March 29 Washington, DC Verizon Center
April 7 St. Paul, MN Xcel Center
April 10 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
April 13 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
April 15 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena
April 17 Tampa, FL St. Pete Times Forum
April 18 Ft. Lauderdale, FL BankAtlantic Center
April 21 Nashville, TN Sommet Center
April 22 Charlotte, NC Time Warner Cable Arena
May 26 – 27 East Rutherford, NJ New Meadowlands Stadium
July 15 Edmonton, AB Commonwealth Stadium
July 17 Winnipeg, MB Canad Inns Stadium
July 20 Toronto, ON Rogers Centre
July 24 Foxboro, MA Gillette Stadium
July 28 Regina, SK Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field
July 30 Chicago, IL Soldier Field