Why haven’t any of Taylor Swift’s Reputation stadium tour dates sold out yet? Ticketmaster officials have boosted strong sales driven by their Verified Fan program, but several brokers and industry observers say the lack of a single sellout date on the 33-city tour points to soft demand.
In some stadiums, there’s still hundreds of seats available, and at other stadiums there are thousands of seats open for purchase on Ticketmaster. Does the lack of sellouts mean the tour is not successful? Not according to Ticketmaster’s EVP and Head of Music David Marcus.
“We’d like to sell the last ticket to her concert when she takes the stage each night,” Marus told me for a recent Billboard article. “We’re not trying to sell all of her tickets in one minute; we’re trying to figure out how to sell tickets in a more modern way.”
Taylor Swift’s promoter Louis Messina explained that because tickets are more aggressively priced, the tour will gross far more money than the 1989 tour three years earlier.
“We estimated there were a $150 million in sales of her tickets on the secondary market,” he told Amplify, adding that the use of Verified Fan to combat bots, coupled with higher prices that are difficult for resellers to make profits from, are shifting revenues from sites like StubHub to the artist and promoter.
“They have closed that gap from the primary to the secondary,” said Brett Goldberg with site TickPick, an online marketplace for tickets. “If you look at this tour compared to her last tour, fans on average are going to be paying similar prices on the primary to what many paid last time on the secondary market. The difference is that now, the money goes to Taylor.”
Did Taylor’s higher ticket prices lead to a drop in overall sales? It’s hard to compare with her previous tour because a) prices were much lower for 1989 and b) almost all the tickets were immediately purchased and resold using bots. The seat maps below reflect what the market looks like when tickets are priced more aggressively and bot traffic is controlled. We printed up the first 13 shows of her tour (minus her July 7 stop at Ohio Stadium because the seat map was giving us problems), to provide readers a look at how the tour is selling and what types of tickets are still available. We also included a link to the actual seat maps on Ticketmaster so you can see available tickets in real time.
May 5, Glendale Arizona
Ok so what are you looking at? The blue dots are tickets still available to buy from Ticketmaster. The pink dots are resale tickets being sold through TM+. These are seats that were purchased during the Verified Fan presale or during the public sale and are now being resold by the buyer. The gold dots are VIP packages, in the case of the Phoenix show they are part of Big Reputation package, priced at $542 per ticket plus another $11.25 in fees. You can assume most of the seats that are white have already been sold.
May 12, Santa Clara
Santa Clara is one of the strongest dates on the tour. As you can see from the map above, there’s only a couple hundred available tickets for purchase. Keep in mind venues and artists do sometimes hold back tickets, but it’s safe to assume that most of the tickets for this show were already sold. And just to get an idea about how they are priced, here’s something you need to know: tickets in the second row from the stage are priced at $2,350 plus fees, and tickets in the third row are priced at $1,675 plus fees. Most of the floor behind the first couple rows are priced at $750. Tickets in the lower bowl seating section are priced at $400-500, dropping in price the higher one goes in the stands. For this show, the get-in-the-door price is $170.
May 18, Pasadena
There’s many more tickets available for this show, the first of two nights in the LA area. Notice that it’s the worst seats in the back of the seating sections that are typically the last to go. Scroll down the page, check out the other seat maps and ask yourself if you think the tour appears to be selling ok or it’s time for Taylor and her team to start freaking out. And remember, what has sold so far was from just four days of presales and three days of sales to the public. Taylor Swift still has five months until the start of her first concert.