Stadiums Report ‘Strong’ Ticket Sales For Taylor Swift Tour

Taylor Swift
Scott Legato /
– Taylor Swift
Ford Field in Detroit, Mich.

Ticket sales for Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” stadium tour are strong coming out of the gate in most markets for both Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan presale program and public on-sale dates, according to teams and stadium managers representing multiple venues on the route.

Data supplied by the Gridiron Stadium Network, a consortium of NFL facilities that work together to book concerts at their buildings, shows at least 35,000 tickets have been sold at ten stadiums on the route. As of Dec. 18, about two weeks after the first pre-sale, the tickets sold thus far ranged from 35,419 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, where Taylor Swift has performed twice before, to a high of 48,039 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. 

The news comes after reports surfaced earlier this week decrying the “Reputation” tour a “disaster,” despite the fact Swift’s tour of North America and the U.K. doesn’t officially commence until May and runs through October. She since added six new stadium dates to the run, which is being produced and promoted by the Messina Touring Group.

“We’re still selling tickets every day and our show isn’t until August [7],” said Jimmie Sacco, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ vice president of stadium operations and management. “We’re already close to 63 percent capacity and have about 12,000 tickets left.”

In Santa Clara, Levi’s Stadium added a second Taylor Swift date after the first show sold more than 47,000 tickets in two weeks, which included an exclusive presale for San Francisco 49ers season-ticket holders. As of early January, the first show alone, May 12, was generating close to $9 million in ticket revenue, said team president Al Guido.

“We’re not struggling,” Guido said. “I think what’s happening is the definition of a successful show is changing with Ticketmaster’s new presale model. Before, these shows would sell out in a heartbeat, but the acts discovered they were leaving money on the table. Ticket prices were low enough that they would quickly sell out with a lot of tickets ending up on the secondary market. The acts are now saying, ‘Why am I doing this just to give this money to somebody else?’ Now, there’s more money getting into the act’s hands, but [the distribution process] is slower than it would normally be.”

One NFL team executive feels tickets are overpriced for Taylor Swift in his market, but at the same time, he said 35,000 tickets have been sold. The person did not want to be identified because he was not authorized team ownership to speak for the organization. 

“It’s not like the sky is falling,” he said. “We were really pleased by the number of tickets sold through pre-sale and the initial on-sale was strong. Now, we’re going through a dead period, but we expect it to pick up again before summer.”

Ohio Stadium is one of six stadiums within about 200 miles in the Midwest playing host to Taylor Swift, which concerned officials the most in Columbus, said Xen Riggs, Ohio State University’s associate vice president for student life and a veteran facility operator. Riggs declined to provide information on current ticket sales, but he said school officials are very happy with where they are at this point in time for the July 7 concert.

“We were nervous,” Riggs said. “Besides us, there are shows in Louisville, Indianapolis, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. That’s six markets with 300,000 seats. Is there that much demand? But so far, we’ve been very impressed. It’s sold extremely well. I don’t pretend to understand all the nuances of the pre-sales, but all the feedback we’ve got [on the Verified Fan program] has been very positive. It seems like tickets are getting in the hands of the real fans. It’s been doing everything they thought it would do.”

In Pittsburgh, the Verified Fan program worked well for those ticket buyers who used it, but there remains a learning curve for the pre-sale initiative, said Sacco, who declined to get into specifics.  

Facility manager SMG has booked the tour at five of its six NFL stadiums, and this week, added a second Taylor Swift show at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, site of the 2018 Super Bowl. The tour starts at

“The tour is fantastic for us,” said Jim McCue, SMG’s senior vice president of entertainment. “Verified Fan is a great initiative and we salute Ticketmaster and Taylor Swift on its implementation.” 

Over the course of her career, Swift has reported 6.7 million tickets sold to Pollstar‘s BoxOffice, with a total reported gross of more than $580 million. Her upcoming “Reputation” stadium tour will increase those figures and at the same time burnish her reputation as an all-time great touring artist.

Don Muret was recently hired as Senior Editor for VenuesNow, the forthcoming reboot of longstanding trade publication Venues Today. Both Pollstar and VenuesNow are owned by Oak View Group.