In what's being billed as a first, Bon Jovi will bundle a digital iTunes copy of the band's upcoming album "Lost Highway" with purchase of presale tickets for their upcoming stand to open the new Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., which begins Oct. 25.

The online presale program will be available exclusively to American Express cardholders beginning June 12 through June 14, and to the general public from June 15 through June 22. Tickets without the digital album download will then be available for purchase by the general public beginning June 23. Fans who purchase the Lost Highway Ticket Package will receive a code from Ticketmaster that enables them to download Lost Highway from iTunes beginning on its June 19 release. The ticket/album package will be priced at $9.99 higher -- the price of the album on iTunes -- than those later sold outside the package. Album sales in the bundle will count toward SoundScan and the album's Billboard chart position.

For those fans who have already pre-ordered Lost Highway from or iTunes, Bon Jovi and Ticketmaster have arranged for iTunes to provide a unique passcode that will enable them to purchase a single presale ticket for $9.99 less without adding the digital album.

The program is similar in concept to previous Ticketmaster initiatives with acts like Bob Dylan, Maroon 5 and Daddy Yankee. The difference is the other programs were albums and tickets in two separate sales via two separate sites.

The Bon Jovi deal is the first-ever "all-in" presale that bundles a ticket and a digital album together as a single transaction sold via In this way, the promotion is more a digital version of Prince's 2005 Musicology tour, which include a physical version of Prince's new album with the ticket price, to be picked up at the venue.

The promotion does not follow the traditional presale model, where those that take part (whether access is provided by sponsor, fan club, venue or others) get the first crack at all the good seats.

"There absolutely will be a general public onsale that will include tickets in all price categories in a reasonable amount," David Marcus, VP of music for Ticketmaster, tells "This is not 'the best tickets automatically go first and if you buy the package you get great seats and if you don't you get stuck in the back.' We deliberately did not structure it that way."

Rather, Marcus says the general public "presale" in this regard is more of an onsale window. The Amex portion of the promotion, however, does have added value.

"Within the inventory that has been set aside for these packages, those Amex cardmembers will have the best access, there's no doubt," says Marcus. "There still is a first-in-line component to this."

The $375 million, 18,000-capacity Prudential Center will be managed by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and booked by its live entertainment division, AEG Live. AEG Live is promoting the Prudential Bon Jovi shows. "For me this about the opening of Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.," says Debra Rathwell, who heads up AEG Live's New York/New Jersey office. "That's how this came about, Bon Jovi, hometown boys, opening this brand new, absolutely gorgeous arena."

Given Bon Jovi's stature in the market, the buzz around the new arena, and the fact that the booking is "open-ended," it's likely five dates won't be nearly enough to satisfy demand, and a double-digit run a la Billy Joel at the Garden last year is conceivable. It is believed that more dates will be added to satisfy demand.

The promotion will be promoted heavily in New York and New Jersey media, and
nationally in such publications as USA Today.