A source has told Billboard.biz that the Rolling Stones will play two dates at London's O2 Arena and two at Brooklyn's Barclays Center in November. The report also reveals that the shows will be promoted by Richard Branson and Paul Dainty.
According to the source, the Stones are set to be paid $25 million for the four shows. London's O2 Arena holds 20,000, as will the Barclays Center when it is complete in September. So for the Stones to be paid this colossal amount, ticket prices are likely to be sky high (even if other funding from, for example, TV rights is brought in)
Rolling Stone magazine fuelled the rumours further by writing that a source close to the Stones has told them: "This was accomplished in a Navy SEAL-like operation. No one I knew whispered a word of this before yesterday."
However, if this rumour is true, it sits very well with two well-known facts: firstly, Mick has recently revealed that the Stones will perform "in the autumn". Secondly, the Stones are due to make an official announcement on Tuesday 4th September regarding the animal's eyes they have been teasing fans with. It has been speculated that the announcement will regard a special 50th anniversary compilation album, which will include a couple of new songs that were recorded last week.
In 2002 through to 2003, the Stones learned of the success that touring behind a compilation album can bring with their Licks Tour. So to expect the announcement of a new compilation album (perhaps to be entitled Looking Back, to fit in with the animal's eyes) and a few dates to promote its release in November (in time for Christmas) is not far-reaching whatsoever. This time period also sees the release of the band's 50th anniversary documentary, Crossfire Hurricane, so people should be overflowing with Stones hype (or nostalgia).
The Barclays Center is available on the following dates: November 1-3, 5-8, 11, 13, 15, 22-23 and 25-26, while the O2 in London is available on November 1-4, 13, 16-25, 27 and 29 (thanks to Rocksoff.org). So, keep those dates free!
Update: showbiz411.com has revealed that the dates of the shows are as follows - November 26 and 27 in London at the O2 Arena and December 6 and 7 in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center. The website also speculates that tickets will be priced at $500. These rumours are unconfirmed and the chances of there being any truth behind them are slim. However, it is not impossible or unworkable, venue or price wise.