6:09 PM EDT, May 23, 2013
Prime tickets remain available for all three of the Rolling Stones’ upcoming Chicago shows, though given the lofty ticket prices, it would be a stretch to conclude that the band is in any financial peril.
A spot check Thursday afternoon on Ticketmaster’s website found close-to-the-stage tickets for the United Center concerts on Tuesday, May 31 and June 3 at $622.95 apiece, including fees. Tickets at the $250 and $450 price points also remained available for all three shows, with $150 tickets sold out.
But will all of those prices hold? In the day before the tour’s opening-night May 3 concert at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, promoter AEG announced that it was releasing more than 1,000 tickets for $85 apiece, prompting speculation that the legendary band had lost its sell-out mojo or at least might be pricing itself too aggressively on what may be its final tour.
But Pollstar, the concert industry’s trade publication, reported Thursday that over the tour’s first seven shows, the average ticket price was $355.14, in comparison to the about $135/ticket average of the Stones’ 2005 and 2006 tours. The 2005 tour produced all-time-high concert grosses of $162 million, according to Pollstar.
Pollstar president/editor-in-chief Gary Bongiovanni said although prices on some L.A. show tickets were reduced to as little as $60, every concert on the current tour has sold out so far.
“They made the adjustments that were required, and the average ticket price is still more than double what it was in 2005-2006,” Bongiovanni said. “As a business strategy it’s hard to fault. In terms of the amount of money they’re going to amass at the end of the tour, they’re going to do just fine.”
The band made some $85 tickets available for each show when they went on sale — with their locations not revealed till the night of the concert — and characterized the release of additional such tickets a gesture to fans, not a sign of flagging sales. Fans can register for notification of further $85 tickets on the band’s website: http://www.rollingstones.com/85-dollar-tickets/
A Stones spokesperson characterized ticket sales as “really strong."
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC