U2’s latest tour made nearly $20 million yesterday, quickly selling out the foursome’s first three U.S. shows in Chicago, Boston and New York–raking in more in just a few hours than it did in the first three weeks after the release of its newest album.
Yesterday, U2’s tour generated roughly $19,561,500 in ticket sales based on quick sellouts at Chicago’s Soldier Field (65,000 seats), Boston’s Gillette Stadium (72,000 seats), and New Jersey’s Giants Stadium (82,000 seats)*.
Based on U2’s instructions about their recession-friendly concert prices, we assumed 15% of the tickets at each venue were priced at $250 each (the only price level above $120), and that the remaining 85% had an average price of $60 each (We didn’t count the special packages you could bid on via auction, which all cost more than the highest-priced concert tickets, so chances are the tour actually made even more money than we figured).
By contrast, the band’s latest album, No Line on the Horizon, sold 692,000 copies in the U.S. during its first three weeks of release (the fourth week of sales data won’t be out until tomorrow). Multiplying that by the MSRP for the album ($13.98), we determined the band generated $9,674,160 from the album’s U.S. sales.
This data isn’t scientific but, even accounting for error, the results show how much more lucrative touring is than album sales, particularly in the case of a legendary act such as U2.
*The number of seats available at each venue came from Live Nation’s press release about the sold-out shows.
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