After two decades of nearly non-stop touring, Dave Matthews Band has decided to step down as king of the road — if only for...

After two decades of nearly non-stop touring, Dave Matthews Band has decided to step down as king of the road — if only for a year. Known for its lengthy summer outings, which have become an annual tradition for many diehard fans, DMB will not tour in 2011.

“We feel lucky that our tours are a part of so many people’s lives, and wanted to give everyone as much notice as possible,” the band said in a joint statement on its official Web site. “We’re excited to make this summer one of our best tours yet, and look forward to returning to the road in 2012.”

The announcement comes just two weeks before DMB is expected to begin its 2010 calendar. The 51-date tour opens with a May 28-29 stand at Comcast Theatre in Hartford, CT, and extends through a September 15 gig at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN.

At the start of the year, industry resource Pollstar named DMB the No. 1 touring artist of the past decade. From 2000 to 2009, the group brought in approximately $529 million with ticket sales of 11.6 million, according to the publication.

For the same 10-year time frame, Billboard Boxscore‘s estimates put DMB’s total draw at $505 million and 11.2 million tickets sold, not including the band’s festival appearances.

While DMB’s concerts draw consistent audiences on a yearly basis, 2010 ticket sales have been modest in comparison to previous years’ ventures. Usually a fixture on TicketNews’ exclusive event rankings, DMB quickly disappeared from the chart after just two weeks this year — debuting as the No. 1 event ticket overall in the week ending February 28, and dropping to No. 11 in the week ending March 7. The band’s 2010 ticket sales have not surged enough to push it back into the Top 20 since then.

DMB tickets were an almost weekly fixture in the rankings for several months of 2009. The band, fronted by namesake singer-songwriter Dave Matthews, began its last touring season early with a 2009 spring tour leg, which was closely followed by a full summer tour that featured two concerts at Fenway Park in Boston.

Public ticket sales for the upcoming tour began in February, and since then only four concerts have sold out, according to a tally on DMB’s Web site. Based on statements from last year, the band had already sold out that many concerts by February 2009 for spring concerts that were still about two months away at the time.