Jackson Comeback Tour Now A Give-Back

Ayesha Obi, left, and Ava Zadkhorvash pose with the first tickets sold for Michael Jackson's London concert, Friday, March 13, 2009, in front of the O2 Arena. Eight-five million dollars worth of tickets have been sold for Jackson's engagement; with the singer's sudden death promoters face paying out refunds and losing out on millions in merchandise and concession revenue. AP Photo/Akira Suemori AP Photo/Akira Suemori

The promoters for Michael Jackson's "This is It" tour, scheduled to begin on July 13 in London, will reveal details for ticketholders on how to obtain refunds "in due course," said a statement on their Web site.

CBS News correspondent Claire Leka reports that AEG, the owners of London's O2 Arena, faces having to refund up to £50 million ($85 million) in tickets that have already been sold, following the singer's sudden death yesterday.

On the prospect of refunding the more than 750,000 tickets sold, Billboard magazine quotes one concert executive who called it the "biggest mess in the history of our business."

Billboard also reports that AEG stood to gross as much as $115 million, once merchandise sales were factored in.

In March, the concert promotion company AEG Live, operated by billionaire Philip Anschutz, announced it would promote 50 shows in London. Tickets sold out, with the first engagement set for July 8, and a worldwide tour commencing some time afterwards.

But the opening date was later postponed to July 13 and some shows moved back to March 2010, fueling speculation that Jackson was suffering from health ailments. AEG Live said in March that Jackson had passed a 4 ½-hour physical examination with independent doctors.

With the singer's passing, the Financial Times reports, the 20,000-seat O2 Arena must now contend with a summer during which it will be mostly empty - and losing not only ticket and corporate hospitality sales but also revenue from merchandising, food and beverage concessions.

Financial Times says details are being worked out among AEG Live, Ticketmaster and the Jackson family.

CBS News correspondent Larry Miller reports that AEG may be under-insured to handle the losses on the money it's already spent in preparation of the July debut.

Also losing out: fans who purchased tickets for the sold-out shows — perhaps with hefty markups — through scalpers or resellers like eBay. They're likely to come out empty-handed.


More Michael Jackson coverage:

Jackson Sought London Comeback
What Happens To Jackson's Kids?
Pop Legend's Life Had Ups And Downs
Throngs Of Fans Pay Tribute To Jackson
Jackson's Health Woes Took Center Stage
From Tokyo To Rio, Fans Mourn King Of Pop
Family Attorney Blames Prescription Meds
A Collection Of CBS Videos Of Michael Jackson
The Death Of Michael Jackson, Full Coverage
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