concert ticket prices

Concert tickets are getting beyond expensive and people have questions

Torontonians hoping to nab tickets to see Green Day this August at the Rogers Centre should be prepared, as of Tuesday morning, to pay about $160–$250 per ticket to sit way back in the 500s level, about $480 for a prime seat in the 200s level, or about $800 for a floor level ‘resale ticket’—and those aren’t the most expensive seats.

The crazy ticket costs were brought to the attention of a Redditor, who wondered how people could afford these prices.

How are all these expensive Toronto concerts selling out?
byu/getoffmyLAN87 intoronto

“Just realized tickets for Green Day have gone up to almost $500 A TICKET, face value, for a seat in the 200s at the Skydome. With all the posts about how things in Toronto are unaffordable, how are people spending between $250 a ticket (to sit way back in the 500s), to thousands to be GA, leading to a nearly sold out 50,000+ seat venue?!” The Redditor asked in a post on Sunday that has received over 400 comments. “Aside from the usual “poor budgeting”, “people are dumb”, etc. responses, is there something else that’s enabling/supporting such high pricing? The y/y change and/or comparison to ticket prices at other venues is wild.”

One Redditor agreed that the prices are insane, but noted that Ticketmaster uses a dynamic pricing model where ticket prices fluctuate based on demand.

“Most of [the] tickets sold were face value for $100-250 bucks (still a lot), and what you’re seeing are either greedy scalpers hoping to capitalize on desperate people or Ticketmaster’s ‘dynamic’ pricing jacked up due to the low number of tickets left available.”

Other Redditors noted that—even if the average person can’t afford the ticket costs—there is a small percentage of people across the GTA and visitors from surrounding cities who can afford them, driving the prices up.

“GTA population is 6.3 million. “The 1%” is 63,000 people. A lot more than that can afford $500 for a concert ticket also.”

“[T]he US tourists coming for the show are actually a really good call; if you earn USD, have a passport and don’t mind the travel time, you can do alright based on the fx rate. would bet a large portion of audience members are American.”

The higher ticket prices could perhaps be a sign of the higher cost of living (the Consumer Price Index rose 2.9% on a year-over-year basis last month). But despite inflationary costs, the post-COVID live music scene has seen unprecedented ticket sales. According to Pollstar, total grosses for the 2023 Worldwide Top 100 Tours (led by Taylor Swift and Beyonce)  were up 46% to USD $9.17 billion from $6.28 billion the year before; also in 2023—average grosses were up 53.2% to USD $2.37 million per show from $1.54 million. Total ticket sales were up 18.4% from 59 million to 70 million; and average tickets per show were up 24.25% from 14,570 to 18,103. Average ticket prices increased 23.33% from USD $106.07 to $130.81.

Last August, prices for the upper bowl of the Rogers Centre for Taylor Swift’s Eras tour ranged from $160 to $200, but resale prices for the stadium shows were much higher—companies such as StubHub ended up selling upper bowl seats for upwards of $2,000.

If you’re looking to buy cheaper tickets to The Saviours Tour, there are still a few left for about $168 in the nosebleeds. Or, as another Redditor advised, perhaps wait a bit before purchasing.

“I’ve noticed lately [that] Ticketmaster has been doing this annoying thing where they don’t separate out Standard and Official Platinum tickets in the filter, so they all get looped in together in searches. Just wait until a few days before the concert, that’s when they convert all the unsold Official Platinum tickets into actual Standard pricing.”

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