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Elton’s return to Youngstown’s Covelli Centre was a record-setter.


The attendance for Saturday’s concert by the singer/songwriter was 7,611.

The previous attendance record at the center, which opened in October 2005, was 7,334 for a Feb. 21, 2009, middleweight boxing championship title defense by Kelly Pavlik.

“It was a momentous occasion for us,” said Eric Ryan, the establishment’s executive director. “Not only the record, but the show and how well things went.”

Elton was onstage for two hours and 40 minutes at what was the kickoff of his latest North American tour.

About 7,200 people had tickets to the event before about 400 additional tickets near and behind the stage went on sale Friday at $29 a ticket. That happened after the stage was erected and the promoters determined there was additional space.

Work on building the stage started early Thursday, hours after a Harlem Globetrotters event Wednesday, Ryan said.

“To have his tech rehearsals for the tour here was a major coup for the center,” Ryan stated. “We hope it translates into other big artists doing the same thing here. We have a great workforce, and it’s not as expensive to have rehearsals here as it is in other cities.”

Elton previously had owned the center’s concert-attendance record of about 7,000 from his appearance there May 1, 2010.