Billy Joel Becomes First Citizens Bank Park Music Franchise
Courtesy of Live Nation – null
Live Nation Philadelphia Regional President Geoff Gordon and Philadelphia Phillies Executive Vice President David Buck pose with the Phillie Phanatic when announcing Billy Joel’s upcoming Philadelphia stadium show.
Billy Joel has performed at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park each of the last five summers — and when he returns to the home of the Philadelphia Phillies for a sixth consecutive year on May 24, he’ll do so with yet another accolade under his belt.
The Phillies and Live Nation Philadelphia announced Thursday that Joel had been named Citizens Bank Park’s first music franchise. It’s a fitting designation for the Piano Man, who with seven career performances — soon to be eight — has played the venue more than any other musician.
Beginning in August 2014, Joel’s annual summer concerts at Citizens Bank Park have grossed an average of $4.28 million. His 2018 show at the ballpark was the most lucrative yet, with 40,381 tickets sold for a gross of $4.66 million.
“Billy Joel’s past performances at Citizens Bank Park have been exceptional which is why his fans in Philadelphia return year after year,” said Phillies Executive Vice President David Buck in a release. “In addition to being thrilled that he will perform again at Citizens Bank Park in 2019, we are also honored that Billy has chosen our ballpark as his residency. That speaks volumes about his personal connection with our city.”
To celebrate Joel’s new status as a music franchise, Citizens Bank Park will operate a kiosk selling Billy Joel merchandise at all Phillies home games in May, and will give the musician a key to the ballpark.
Joel has long had a special connection to Philadelphia. In 1972, Joel recorded a live version of “Captain Jack” for local station WMMR; when the radio station played the song, it found important ears — including those of Clive Davis, who subsequently signed Joel.
“If you’re going to bet on somebody, betting on Billy Joel is as good as it gets,” Live Nation Philadelphia Regional President Geoff Gordon told Pollstar for a November story about Joel’s stadium appeal. “The age range is from 6 to 60 and above, and they sing just as loud as he does. Billy’s team are truly our partners on these events. It starts on the stage and goes out from there. I’ll never stop asking to book him as long as he keeps playing.”
Joel’s residency and franchise status at Citizens Bank Park follow a similar strategy at Madison Square Garden, where he has played monthly since January 2014. In December, he announced he’ll play his 64th consecutive monthly gig at the Manhattan arena on May 9 — his 70th birthday — and he has since shared plans to perform there on June 2 and July 11.
Tickets for Joel’s May 24 show at Citizens Bank Park are on sale now.