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Old 07-14-2002, 04:57 PM   #1
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How Many Shows Can U2 Sell Out In One City?

Bruce Springsteen, for instance, sold out 15 consecutive shows at the Meadowlands during his last tour, as well as a high number of consecutive shows in other cities like Boston.

Do you think U2 could sell out 15 consecutive nights at a 15-18,000 seat arena in the SAME city (which is about a quarter of a million tickets)?

So far, U2 sold out 3 of 4 nights on Zooropa at Wembley, which seats about 80,000.

Any ideas on why Bruce can and U2 may not be able to? Is it that Bruce has had a huge following for SO many years, so it's a residual base that just grows bigger with each album and never atrophies (which happened to U2 a bit with Zoo at the start, and def. with Pop)? Or maybe you think U2 could sell out like this?
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Old 07-14-2002, 05:12 PM   #2
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Good question..I wonder what is the highest # of consecutive shows they've ever sold out in one city.

I think they could, and I think you're right about Bruce. Last tour he didn't even have a new album out, but of course he had just reunited with E Street.

He's an incredibly dynamic performer, just like U2, and the demand to see him live seems to always be there. Once you've experienced it,it's easy to understand why.
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Old 07-14-2002, 05:17 PM   #3
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I always thought if U2 could sell out 4 shows in Chicago last year they easily could've sold out Soldier Field. Of course the view wouldn't have been so good for so many.
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Old 07-15-2002, 09:22 AM   #4
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GM.. well they say they will only play 4 shows max in one city. And they've sold out the four shows they played in boston & chicago for Elevation. I wonder prior to these tours if they've sold out more than 4 consecutive shows.

Also, if they were to play say 8 shows in Boston- do you think they could sell them all out?

D4B- right about them selling out Soldier Field, but I'm wondering how many of those shows in a row they could sell out?

For some reason I don't see them selling out 15 in a row like Bruce would do. And I wonder why.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
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Old 07-15-2002, 09:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by oliveu2cm

Also, if they were to play say 8 shows in Boston- do you think they could sell them all out?
Yes, and I'd go to all 8 Of course, they also don't have 3 hr or 3 hr plus shows- I'm NOT criticizing them for that, just an observation.

Maybe Bono needs to take whatever vitamins The Boss is taking
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Old 07-15-2002, 10:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gina Marie


Yes, and I'd go to all 8 Of course, they also don't have 3 hr or 3 hr plus shows- I'm NOT criticizing them for that, just an observation.

Maybe Bono needs to take whatever vitamins The Boss is taking
I'd go there with ya! good point about the length of the shows, too.

Lolll at the vitamins.. Hmm wonder if taking them would make Mondays less painful...
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Old 07-15-2002, 10:01 AM   #7
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methinks that Bruce is more mainstream than U2. Thus more people likely to go to his shows.
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Old 07-15-2002, 10:19 AM   #8
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Well, the long string of sold out shows for bruce are usually his hometown of New Jersey/New York area. In U2's hometown, they sold out 2 nights at Slane in about an hour or two. I think they could have easily sold out three nights at Slane.

On Popmart U2 sold out Soldier Field in Chicago twice and it was about 3/4 full the third night. This means they played to about 160-170,000 people in Chicago.

Hard for me to say how many U2 could sell out of an arena in a certain city. I would say probably 6-7 nights in someplace like Boston, Chicago, NY/NJ, or LA. Obviously in Ireland they can do well too.

You have to remember that U2 is now pricing their tickets in a way that will naturally limit the number of shows that they will be able to play. If they were selling tickets for 30 dollars for all seats, or even 50-60 dollars for all seats, they could end up playing many more shows to return customers.
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Old 07-15-2002, 10:47 AM   #9
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Re: How Many Shows Can U2 Sell Out In One City?

Quote:
Originally posted by oliveu2cm
Bruce Springsteen, for instance, sold out 15 consecutive shows at the Meadowlands during his last tour, as well as a high number of consecutive shows in other cities like Boston.

Do you think U2 could sell out 15 consecutive nights at a 15-18,000 seat arena in the SAME city (which is about a quarter of a million tickets)?

So far, U2 sold out 3 of 4 nights on Zooropa at Wembley, which seats about 80,000.

Any ideas on why Bruce can and U2 may not be able to? Is it that Bruce has had a huge following for SO many years, so it's a residual base that just grows bigger with each album and never atrophies (which happened to U2 a bit with Zoo at the start, and def. with Pop)? Or maybe you think U2 could sell out like this?
If Springsteen sold out 15 shows that each sat 15,000 - 18,000 people, that is 225,000 - 270,000 people total. If U2 sold out 3 shows at Wembley that sat 80,000 people, that's already 240,000 total. Add in the fourth show, which did not sell out, but probably came close, and U2 played to over 300,000 people. In other words, not only did U2 play to more people (in those two examples), but clearly the demand was met. Who's to say if Springsteen added a 16th or 17th show if those would have sold out?

Also, note that Springsteen was playing in his home. Wembley is not U2's home. Furthermore, Springsteen was playing close to one of the largest cities in the world. The high population for a favorite local artist will bias the numbers high.

During the PopMart tour, U2 sold out Soldier Field twice, with a third show that almost sold out. I think that was 115,000 total tickets for the three shows (although someone like Sting2 could probably verify this quite quickly). As such, if U2 could sell out the several shows in Chicago on a less well-received tour, then I think they could have easily sold out 3 stadium shows (maybe even 4) on the far more popular Elevation Tour.

In other words, I do think that with the right album and the right tour (and ATYCLB/Elevation came darn close to that perfect combination), U2 could match Springsteen in certain cities. Likely candidates cities are Boston, Chicago, Dublin and London.
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Old 07-15-2002, 11:46 AM   #10
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Also to be noted that while Bruce bookended his last tour with 15 nights in NJ and 10 nights in NYC, and had many long successful sold out stints along the way ( 5 sell-outs here in Boston), he also had cities where he played only 1 show, and not completely sold out. In fact 8 of his shows for the upcoming tour went on sale over the weekend, all are one night stands, and NJ and NYC sold out in a nanosecond as expected, but you can still get tickets for Detroit, Cleveland and Phoenix.

In the US, U2 would have its best shot at comparing in Boston and Chicago...but I doubt they'd sell out 15 nights either place...10 maybe.
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Old 07-15-2002, 12:17 PM   #11
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Just to let you know, U2 sold out all 4 nights at London's Earls Court on the Elevation tour, roughly 16,000 capacity maybe more? I was at 3 of them! i think they could of sold out a whole week of gigs there!
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Old 07-15-2002, 12:59 PM   #12
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U2 sold out 4 nights for Zoo tv in Mexico City, the first 2 in 2 hours, and the second 2 in less time. total of 80,000 tickets, they could have IMO sold out as many as 10 IMO.

During PopMart they sold out 2 concerts 60,000 each in one day, and that due to the high prices of the closer seats, 200 dollars each.

I'm sure they would make it here.

And I think the same happen in Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Santiago during Pop Mart.

Its to note the the ticket prices in our countries has always been way up the Europe USA and Canada standards.
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Old 07-15-2002, 02:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Desire4Bono
I always thought if U2 could sell out 4 shows in Chicago last year they easily could've sold out Soldier Field. Of course the view wouldn't have been so good for so many.
Yeah, definitely...Actually, they played three shows at Soldier Field during Popmart and, if I remember correctly, all but one were completely sold out...or maybe they were ALL sold out. I can't remember!
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Old 07-15-2002, 08:10 PM   #14
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Dr. Who -> Thanks for all the info. I was hoping you'd post some stuff here.

Quote:
In other words, I do think that with the right album and the right tour (and ATYCLB/Elevation came darn close to that perfect combination), U2 could match Springsteen in certain cities. Likely candidates cities are Boston, Chicago, Dublin and London.
Yeah I agree with this. I don't necessarily think it has to do with being in their respective hometowns, but more so the combination you said above.

And sure U2's tickets may thwart some repeat audiences BUT I'm guessing Springsteen's tickets weren't $30 either...

Hewson great point about the number of shows in other cities.

Thx for everyone's response. Maybe they'll consider a 15 night stint in Boston next tour
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Old 07-16-2002, 01:25 AM   #15
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Hello,

The highest # of consecutive shows in one city U2 played was during the Lovetown Tour. They played Melbourne for seven (consecutive) shows, at the National Tennis Center. I don't know how many seats were available, though (don't have U2 Live here at work).

C ya!

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Old 07-16-2002, 10:59 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by oliveu2cm
Maybe they'll consider a 15 night stint in Boston next tour
That's all I'd need...after 15 nights I'd be exhausted, with a chesire cat grin, until I realized how much money I just spent and saw the angry little woman heading my way with divorce papers!
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Old 07-16-2002, 04:10 PM   #17
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Its incorrect to look at Springsteens success in the New York/New Jersey area and extrapolate that over the entire USA and World. Many Springsteen shows on his last tour failed to sale out. These shows were of course outside the Northeast of the USA. Most of U2s Elevation numbers are superior to Springsteens and U2 Grossed more and played to more people than Springsteen in the USA.

Remember, it is Springsteens luck that his hometown or near his hometown is the largest metropolitan area in the USA, New York City. U2 played 4 Stadium shows in the New York Area on ZOO TV playing to over 200,000 people. All were sellouts and suggest that the band could have played more dates. POPMART was a different story with the band peaking out after the 3rd Stadium show only filled up half way, but again its a STADIUM and not an arena.

U2 is much more popular now than during POPMART. Plus, multiple dates at a smaller venue allows bigger fans to go to more shows, instead of the one or two stadium shows which will better reflect the number of people in the area who actually are willing to see the artist. Multiple dates in a small venue often get crammed with die hards going night after night, with the more casual fans being pushed to another night or not being able to go at all. 10,000 die hard Springsteen fans could buy up huge part of the available 300,000 tickets in order to go to multiple shows. Believe it or not, there were fans that went to ALL 15 shows!

Since ones ability to sellout multiple nights at a smaller venue rely's heavily on the number multiple concert attenders, I'd say in a City like New York City that U2 could sellout 15 nights, given the level of popularity on Elevation. In fact, I think they may have been able to do this even on POPMART. Just given the level of attendance at the 3 Giants Stadium shows would be enough to fill up 7 or 8 arena shows. The Giants Stadium show that did not sellout still had 35,000 in attendance, double of what would be needed to sellout an arena. Even artist who are unable to sellout a single arena's in other markets are often able to sellout a couple of nights in New York City. Its nearly the largest market in the world.

I think it would be interesting to see what Springsteen could do in a Stadium in New York City. He certainly would not be able to play as many nights, and his popularity among the general puplic would become a huge factor, and the 10,000 or more die hards would be less of a factor.

Because of the multiple concert attender, your always going get a higher attendance and gross figure by putting on as many sellout arena shows as possible as opposed to as many sellout stadium shows as possible. You'll reach you first non-soldout stadium show far faster than you will your first non-arena sold out show. Stadium shows because of the number of seats available per show, reveal a bands true level of popularity among the general public. Arena shows for popular artist like Springsteen and U2 in big cities are more of a reflection of the number of die hard fans, and in a way hide what the true level of interest is among the public.

But let me say this, In this context I'm only talking about the most popular artist who often should be in the Stadium instead of the Arena. Only a handful of artist can play Stadiums. For most artist, selling out an arena is difficult, and for them, the Arena is more like the Stadium, and the 3,000 seat theater is the arena.
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