Metallica Breaks Arena Record Down Under

Metallica Breaks Arena Record Down Under

Metallica's 20-date Australasian tour is now history, and the record books prove it.

The American metal veterans - and current Billboard cover stars - smashed the ticket sales record at Sydney's Acer Arena, shifting 74,244 tickets over four sell-out dates in September and November.

Metallica's feat at the 21,000-capacity arena eclipsed the previous record of 66,247 set by Britney Spears over four nights on her Circus tour in November 2009.

"It was a massive, awesome performance," Paul Sergeant, GM of Acer Arena, tells Bilboard. "Even if you weren't a Metallica follower, you'd have enjoyed that show. It was huge."

The tour, Metallica's first on these shores since 2004, opened Sept. 15 with successive nights at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena before moving on to Sydney, Christchurch, Auckland, Brisbane, Perth, returning to Sydney, visiting Adelaide and wrapping on Nov. 21 back where it all started, with the third of three closing shows at Rod Laver Arena.

"It's a fantastic tribute to Metallica, as they approach 25 years since their first Australian tour, that they enjoy such an incredible level of support," comments Michael Coppel, promoter for the Australasian leg of the group's World Magnet Tour. "They are one of the greatest live bands ever, and I'm sure everyone who has seen them on this tour will attest to that."

Metallica's "Six Feet Down Under Pt.2" (Mercury/UMA) this week bows at No. 13 on the ARIA albums chart. The EP is a limited edition, eight-song set for the Australasian market that features live tracks from the tour.