I agree and would add that just the name "Bolshoi" sells--well known stars or not. But I'm not sure about Spartacus not being an audience favorite--For many people (and I should think especially the Russian audience in New York) Spartacus "is" the Bolshoi. Perhaps that's an outdated notion??
Unlike the Mik, the Bolshoi has plenty of stars. Bolshoi can sell out the Met with SL and DQ with or without Hallberg and/or Vasiliev. (Spartacus isn't exactly an audience favorite, so that's going to be a tougher sell no matter who is cast.)I'm guessing this delay of signing contracts must somehow relate to money, not personnel. It's probably a negotiating maneuver by the Bolshoi.
If the Bolshoi doesn't end up coming to NYC, I seriously doubt that they will come to Saratoga.
I'm not sure that Hallberg would necessarily be a big draw in NYC for the Bolshoi anyway. When the Bolshoi visits NYC, a large segment of the audience, including many, many Russians, want to see Russian dancers who were trained at the Bolshoi, not Americans.
From the amount of Russian I heard in the audience at the recent live broadcast of the Bolshoi's Spartacus in Toronto (which was much better attended than the Royal B's Don Q) I deduce that is pretty accurate.