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More cities, higher priced tickets and new stadiums could net more than $200 million for Bey & Jay
Beyoncé and JAY-Z’s just-announced On The Run II Tour through Europe and North America is on track to be one of the highest-grossing ever for the power couple.
The two last toured together in 2014 on the much shorter 19-date On The Run Tour, grossing $95 million according to Billboard Boxscore. The upcoming 2018 tour includes 36 stops — 15 in Europe and 21 in North America — and if additional dates are added to On The Run II — as is normally the case — this tour could do double the business of their 2014 outing.
The first On The Run Tour averaged about $5 million per show, so assuming this tour does the same, that could mean $180 million to $200 million, depending on how many dates they play. There’s a possibility that OTR II could gross even higher because of more aggressive pricing and stops at new cities with huge stadiums that could net even more money. On this tour, the famous couple are playing 11 cities they skipped in 2014 and playing three new stadiums that were built after 2014 — US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis (Aug. 8), Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta (Aug. 25) and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. (Sept. 29).
The 2014 On The Run Tour only consisted of two shows in Europe, both at the Stade de France. This time the couple will play in nine different countries in Europe, with four shows in the U.K. and one show in Warsaw, Poland (June 30). JAY-Z and Beyoncé played most of these cities individually on their solo tours, with JAY-Z playing arenas in 2017 and Beyoncé hitting the stadium circuit in 2016.
Ticketmaster and promoter Live Nation have gotten more aggressive about pricing tickets for large-scale tours, which can push the overall tour gross upwards. Sales for JAY-Z’s 32-date 4:44 Tour in November and December grossed a personal-record $48.7 million for the rapper, thanks in part to his in-the-round arena configuration which allowed him to sell more tickets and charge more for lower level seats while utilizing expensive VIP packages and platinum seat programs. The pricing strategy means artists can make more money while charging less for upper-level seats.
The strategy means more pressure on scalpers and professional resellers — high-priced tickets are difficult to sell because there’s not much room to mark up the price, while a large inventory of available cheap upper-level seats incentivizes fans to buy directly from the artists instead of resale sites like StubHub or Viagogo.
Ticketmaster is not utilizing its Verified Fan platform on this tour, instead opting for more traditional presales and fan club sales. Citi is the official credit card of OTR II and cardholders in North America can purchase tickets from March 14 to March 17. (European cardholders can also get their tickets early, too.)
Tidal members also get an early shot at tickets, as do members of Beyoncé’s Beyhive fan club. Everyone else will have to wait until March 19 to buy tickets in North America and some dates in Europe, while the remainder of the tour goes on sale March 23.
The couple won’t be the only ones playing large venues this summer. Dead and Company, Pearl Jam, Ed Sheeran and Def Leppard with Journey are all playing stadiums this year, as are the Eagles, Billy Joel and Taylor Swift, whose Reputation Tour is playing many of the same venues as Bey and Jay. Those two tours are spaced about four months apart.
But demand for OTR II could withstand competitive pressure if Beyoncé’s 2016 Formation Tour is any guide: that one was the highest-grossing tour of 2016 according to Billboard Boxscore, clocking in $256 million over 49 shows.