Kevin Mazur / Getty Images – Sebastian Sells
Sebastian Maniscalco performs at Madison Square Garden in January 2019. The comic sold out several arena shows on Friday, including the first-ever comedy show at Long Island’s soon-to-open UBS Arena.
Tickets for a slew of Sebastian Maniscalco arena gigs went onsale Friday, and the comic sold out several of them immediately, including his Dec. 27 date at the soon-to-open UBS Arena in Belmont, N.Y., on Long Island.
Maniscalco’s UBS Arena performance, which will be the first comedy show at the arena, sold out in 30 minutes.
“Establishing the venue as a home for comedy in this incredible marketplace was high on our agenda,” said Mark Shulman, senior vice president for programming at UBS Arena.
“That no-nonsense, working class, ‘what’s wrong with people?’ point of view resonated with people on the East Coast in a really big way very early on and, based on the sales, continues to,” Maniscalco’s manager Judi Marmel, co-founder, partner and president of talent at Levity Live, said. “They’ve been there and come out since the comedy club days. It doesn’t matter what comedy club he played on the Island to the ones he played in the city – they’ve always showed up.”
New York has been a historically strong market for Maniscalco, highlighted by his sold-out, four-show stand at Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden, where he sold 72,960 tickets and grossed $8.28 million in January 2019.
That report is Maniscalco’s highest-grossing in Pollstar‘s database, followed by a sold-out, five-night stand at Manhattan’s Radio City Hall, where he sold 27,941 tickets and grossed $3.39 million in April 2018.
Maniscalco’s regional dominance extends to Long Island, where a sold-out, 10-show run at the Paramount in Huntington, N.Y., moved 10,130 tickets and grossed $1.26 million in February 2017.
“Sebastian’s comedy resonates with that hardworking, gritty, New York crowd,” Shulman said. “He has built up the marketplace and done the heavy lift to establish a very hardcore fanbase that loves him.”
Maniscalco’s UBS Arena may also make him more accessible for some audiences in the tri-state area.
“When we looked at sales for this event, it was extremely popular with people not only from Long Island, but also into New York City and up into those areas where the UBS Arena, if you’re in many of the suburbs into Westchester and Connecticut, is actually the easiest arena for them to reach,” Shulman said.
The comic’s journey in the New York region mirrors his strategy in other markets where, after building up his clout at the theater level, Marmel said, “this year, we felt like it was time to move to the arenas.” Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston were among other markets where Maniscalco had particularly strong onsales on Friday, according to Marmel.
Maniscalco returned to the road last month, kicking off his “Nobody Does This Tour” at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, and subsequently playing dates from Las Vegas to New Orleans.
“The shows are just electric,” Marmel said. “He came out of this pandemic, and there’s a lot to say about the world we live in. We just lived through – and are continuing to live through – some of the most absurd times. People want and need to find some humor in this, and I think he’s that release valve of being able to actually laugh at what we all went through.”
Maniscalco appeared on Pollstar‘s cover in 2019 and 2021, and was the keynote speaker at Pollstar Live! in June. He appeared on Pollstar‘s Year End Top 100 Worldwide Tours chart in 2018, 2019 and 2020.