The engagement also has a philanthropic component: Prince has said he will donate some of the proceeds to the Faith Central Baptist Church, which bought the arena in 2000 and has been struggling to get out from under millions of dollars in debt from years of unprofitable operations. (Church officials are hopeful that a pending sale of the Forum to Madison Square Garden Entertainment will help ease or eliminate their financial burden.)
"He likes to find ways to call attention to himself and he loves to perform live, so this is totally consistent with his MO," said Jon Bream, author of the 1984 biography "Prince: Inside the Purple Reign." "He's given away two albums in British newspapers. He gave away the 'Musicology' album as part of the ticket price for people who went to those  shows."