Concert Pulse: Ed Sheeran Tops Chart, Taylor Swift Still No. 1 Stateside

Ed Sheeran
Phil Walter / Getty Images
– Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran plays the first of three shows at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand, March 24.

Ed Sheeran enters the Pollstar Global Concert Pulse chart at No. 1, having just kicked off his much-anticipated North American tour leg after already selling an astonishing 1 million tickets Down Under and obliterating records for Pollstar’s Mid-Year top tours with $214 million grossed on his overseas dates.
Reports from the just-launched U.S. jaunt include Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Aug. 18 which sold out 62,321 tickets and grossed $6.31 million, AT&T Park in San Francisco Aug. 21 (38,647, $4.2 million) and CenturyLink Field in Seattle, which sold out 55,891 tickets and grossed $4.93 million.
The totals put him at No. 1 on the chart, with an average gross of $13.4 million per city, notably above Taylor Swift who seemed untouchable at nearly $11 million per show on her Reputation North American stadium tour. 
However, Swift is so far still undisputed in North America, at least this year. 

Taylor Swift
Kimberly Carrillo
– Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift kicks off her “Reputation Stadium Tour” at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., May 8.
For comparison, she played two nights at the Rose Bowl (118,084 tickets, $16.25 million) and elected to do two nights at Levi’s Stadium in SF (107,550 tickets, $14 million) rather than the smaller-capacity AT&T Park that Sheeran played. 
Sheeran’s massive average gross is bolstered by huge reports from his native UK and Ireland, (he was appointed an MBE in 2017, after all) including a staggering $28.72 million grossed over four nights at Wembley Stadium in London June 14-17, which moved just under 300,000 tickets. Other mammoth reports included $21.25 million over another four shows at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, and $19.8 million over four shows at Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
Sheeran’s ability to play to so many fans in such close proximity mirrors Swift’s ability to do the same in her own homeland, as she did back-to-back, three-night engagements at both MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts, both grossing right around $22 million each. She also just did two nights at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta that put up $18 million, putting her in league with very few artists. 
There are a few differences between the two as well. Sheeran’s average ticket price is less, at $92 vs. Swift’s still-reasonable $128, although the production costs are surely much higher for her elaborate show, and with major support from opening artists Charli XCX and Camila Cabello. Of course, Sheeran just plays an acoustic guitar by himself, although has Snow Patrol on tour with him for the U.S. run. 
Also, Sheeran is hitting many markets a second or even third time in recent years, as he’s toured nearly nonstop worldwide in 2017 ($124.1 million grossed) 2015 ($117.3 million) and 2014 ($33.4 million), while Swift’s last tour was her “1989” run in 2015 ($250.4 million).
After all, with Messina Touring Group, which is led by Louis Messina and an AEG Presents partner, promoter of both tours (in North America, in Sheeran’s case), maybe there’s no need for any friendly competition between the two. 
Sheeran has another 20 or so dates to go on the year, with two-night stadium shows including Metlife Stadium, Gillette Stadium and PNC Park in Pittsburgh.