Pollstar Debuts Its Inaugural Concert Market Rankings

Viva Sin City
Ethan Miller / Getty Images
– Viva Sin City
Las Vegas tops Pollstar’s new Concert Market Ranking chart thanks to data including a Nov. 6 show from The Rolling Stones at Allegiant Stadium. An aerial view shows the stadium under construction west of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on May 21, 2020.

In the first-ever presentation of the most prominent markets in the United States based on live entertainment box office success, Pollstar unveils its inaugural listing of Concert Market Rankings. It is a compilation of the top 100 markets in the nation populated by ticket sales figures from live events performed in venues of all types and sizes in each area. As with all the charts in Pollstar, rankings are determined by sales data reported by concert promoters, venues, booking agents and artist managers throughout the year.

The ranking of the top markets in the country comes from reported data at live event activity in an entire metropolitan area. Along with concert venues in the city proper, those in the surrounding suburbs and outlying cities that are part of the region are also figured into the market’s overall box office tallies.
The 100 markets are ranked by the overall gross from tickets sales in each venue, using the 2021 chart year – Nov. 19, 2020, through Nov. 17, 2021 – as the period of eligibility for inclusion. Along with the gross and total number of tickets sold, the chart also lists the number of performances that produced the totals as well as an average ticket price from all reported shows.

Analysis of this first designation of top markets shows that only the top four – Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose – earned their ranking based on box-office grosses totaling $100 million or more. At No. 1, Las Vegas logged $197.2 million in sold-ticket earnings with an average ticket price of $192.79 – the highest on the chart for both metrics. It’s the only one of the top four markets with a ticket price average over $100 and one of only three on the entire chart, including Atlanta (No. 6) that surpasses that mark by a mere 79 cents.

It is notable that the ticket price average in Las Vegas is close to twice that of any of the other markets near the top of the chart or, indeed, practically any of the markets in the rankings. The archives show top prices at Las Vegas events in 2021 often landing in the $300 to $500 range along with a considerable number over $1,000 including one event with a high-ticket price of $10,000 (a July 10 UFC bout at T-Mobile Arena with tickets starting at $300).

Among other chart highlights, Los Angeles (No. 2) has the highest ticket total in the top 100 with over 1.56 million sold at 199 live events in the region, while New York (No. 3), the country’s largest metropolitan market, had 881 live shows reported, the most of any other area during the 2021 chart year. 
At No. 4, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose – with a reported gross of $105.5 million – also had ticket sales over 1 million at local venues, as did Chicago (No. 5) with a total of just 11,172 tickets fewer than that of the Bay Area.

Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Nashville and Houston round out the top 10 that generated over $946.4 million in grosses from live events. That’s more than 48% of the entire list of top 100 markets that registered $1.96 billion in concert grosses. And, for a wider perspective, the total gross from the top 100 U.S. markets accounted for 70.8% of all reported events worldwide. The global gross was over $2.7 billion for the year.

Finally, the sold-ticket count in all 100 regions is more than 24.2 million from 8,833 performances reported in 2021. Of course, the chart year was not a typical year with the industry returning in fits and starts as it emerged from the global pandemic and the majority of touring data coming in Q3 and Q4. If the volume of tours continues to increase apace, it will invariably impact 2023’s market rankings significantly – stay tuned!
Check out Pollstar’s inaugural Concert Market Rankings chart at the link below:

Concert Market Rankings: No. 1 Las Vegas
Beats The Odds, Tops Market Rankings

Concert Market Rankings: No. 2 Los Angeles
From The Sunset Strip To SoFi Stadium: Live’s Epicenter

Concert Market Rankings: No. 3 New York
In The City That Never Sleeps, The Shows Must Go On

Concert Market Rankings: No 4. San Francisco / Oakland / San Jose 
Bangin’ By The Bay 

Concert Market Rankings: No 5. Chicago
Winning In The Windy City

Concert Market Rankings: No. 6 Atlanta
Heating Up Down South

Concert Market Rankings: No. 7 Dallas / Fort Worth
Big Things Happen Here

Concert Market Rankings: No. 8 Denver
From Red Rocks To Ball Arena

Concert Market Rankings: No. 9 Nashville
Far More Than Country

Concert Market Rankings: No. 10 Houston
America’s Fourth Largest City Is Also Its Most Diverse With Entertainment To Match