ALL SYSTEMS (VERTI)GO!

The band will kick off their global trek in San Diego…

U2 will kick off their 2005 world tour at the SAN DIEGO SPORTS ARENA on March 28.

[a][/a] have also been announced as the support act for the first leg of the global trek, with tickets going on sale on January 29.

The full dates for the Vertigo tour will be announced on Monday (January 24) and despite being two months away, it is likely to be the highest grossing jaunt of 2005.

From as many as 110 shows, conservative estimates put the tour’s gross potential at $225-$250 million.

“One of the great privileges of working with U2 is you get to go on the road with them,” manager Paul McGuinness told Billboard. “We are, I suppose, that rarest of things: a major touring attraction that is still having number one records all over the world after 25 years.”

The first leg of the tour will hit North America for two months, wrapping up in late May in Boston. The trek will then head to 30 European stadiums, kicking off in Brussels on June 10.

The band will tour throughout Europe until mid-August, before returning to North America for another run of 30 arena dates.

McGuinness said: “This tour will be not unlike the last production in that the lowest priced tickets will be on the floor. The best seats are the cheapest, and we want people to get excited.”

Talking about the distribution of floor tickets, he said: “Some will be on sale, some will be radio contest winners.”

McGuinness also revealed that some shows will be available as digital downloads, explaining: “We’re exploring technology where it might be possible to download the show you’ve just seen. We’ve been talking to iTunes and the folks at Apple, with whom we have a great relationship, but it’s not quite there yet. We’re certainly looking at it.”