Pollstar’s Mid-Year Top Venues: Repeat Winners Power On In 2019

Madrid’s WiZink Center
– Madrid’s WiZink Center
reported 614,232 tickets sold, good for No. 3 on the Mid-Year chart this year.

The top of the chart is familiar territory for the three venues scoring the highest on the Top 200 Arenas tally based on worldwide ticket sales. Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany; New York City’s Madison Square Garden and WiZink Center in Madrid head up this year’s Mid-Year rankings at Nos. 1, 2 and 3, respectively – each returning to the top three for a second consecutive year.

Lanxess Arena repeats as the top ticket mover among all arenas worldwide, with 699,924 sold tickets and a $40 million gross. Much of the arena’s box office success came from Lachende Kölnarena, a 15-night event in February and March featuring more than 40 acts – from rock bands and orchestras to dance troupes and children’s entertainment. The run grossed $9.4 million with 197,325 sold seats, almost a third of the building’s total sold ticket count.
Madison Square Garden lands in the second position with 667,594 total tickets, a jump up from the venue’s third-place showing in 2018. Heading up the list of top draws for The World’s Most Famous Arena is perennial New Year’s Eve attraction, Phish, with $6.3 million in sales from 76,085 tickets for a four-night run to close out 2018. Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco also sold out four shows at the Manhattan arena with 72,960 tickets. His run of shows garnered an $8.2 million box office take, the Garden’s highest-reported gross so far this year.
WiZink Center ranked second on last year’s tally and this year the Madrid venue logged 614,232 sold seats for a No. 3 finish. Like all arenas, it hosts a variety of artists, but for this Mid-Year recap, the three best attendance totals came from eight-show runs of popular family events: Cirque du Soleil’s “Toruk-The First Flight,” “Walking With Dinosaurs” and the Disney On Ice production “Dare to Dream.”
Among the Top 50 Outdoor Stadiums/Festival Sites, it’s five in a row for Mexico City’s Foro Sol taking No. 1. The outdoor sports and entertainment facility hosted seven events during the mid-year period including three two-day festivals. The Electric Daisy Carnival EDM festival was the top draw with an attendance count of 218,008 Feb. 23-24. Ticket sales from all events at the Mexico City stadium hit 641,487. The city’s Auditorio Nacional, also a consistent chart-topper, makes its 13th consecutive Mid-Year appearance at No. 1 on the Top 200 Theatre Venues chart with 613,817 total tickets from 86 shows. Luis Miguel was the top concert attraction at the performance hall with 65,062 sold seats for seven concerts in November and December.
It’s eight years in a row at No. 1 for House of Blues Boston, securing the top spot on the Top 200 Club Venues chart with 200,500 sold tickets for 100 concerts. Two headliners played four-show engagements at the club during the mid-year period – Frank Turner with 9,494 tickets on May 16-19 and Dropkick Murphys with 8,644 on March 14-17.
From the repeat winners to the first-timer – Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, Australia, makes its first appearance atop the Top 50 Amphitheatre Venues, moving 152,003 tickets at 22 performances. Sydney dance band Rüfüs Du Sol had the best-attended event at the venue during the first half of 2019, selling 24,298 tickets for a two-night run on Feb. 14-15.