Boxoffice Insider: Carrie Underwood Set For ‘Denim & Rhinestones’ Tour Launch

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NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – JUNE 11: Carrie Underwood performs during day 3 of CMA Fest 2022 at Nissan Stadium on June 11, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Carrie Underwood will soon be back on the road in a year that has already seen her triumph as a first time Las Vegas residency artist. Her “Reflection” production at The Theatre at Resorts World racked up a $12.4 million gross at 18 performances between the show’s debut Dec. 1, 2021 through May 21. The premiere of her residency marked the opening of the new 5,000-seat performance venue on the Las Vegas Strip.

Now, the country superstar is just days away from kicking off a new arena tour in support of her ninth studio album, Denim & Rhinestones, that debuted back in June. With shows planned in 43 U.S. cities, she is set to hit the road Oct. 15 for a five-week run, with a second leg of the tour planned for 2023. Reigning CMA New Artist of the Year Jimmie Allen will open on the trek.

The Oklahoma native last toured in North America and Europe in 2019 supporting her Cry Pretty album, released the previous September. According to ticket sales reports from 55 performances that year, the tour drew 629,068 fans for a gross of $47.5 million – an average of 11,438 tickets and $863,709 in gross revenue per show.

Ticket prices being offered for the new tour – her seventh as a solo headliner – show a bump in standard admission rates compared to “Cry Pretty” which featured a top ticket in the $90 range in most markets. 

Looking at random venues on the upcoming schedule, the top price is typically over $100, with VIP packages and platinum pricing also included in the mix. With the 2019 tour averaging almost $900k in grosses per show, the higher ticket range for the “Denim & Rhinestones” tour could push that average over the $1 million mark.

And a rise in the gross average from tour to tour has remained consistent throughout the eight-time Grammy Award winner’s live career. 2016’s “Storyteller” tour produced a per-show gross of $725,889, a substantial jump over the “Blown Away” tour that averaged $478,248 in 2012-2013. Earlier, her “Play On” tour (2010) averaged $377,660 per night.

The gross average from her headlining work prior to 2010 was $338,454 – not that much less than the “Play On” jaunt, but that is not particularly surprising since Underwood was basically always an arena act, beginning with the 2005 “American Idols Live!” arena tour that featured her as the winner of the show’s fourth season.

Even her first solo headlining efforts in 2006 included more than a few arena dates along with the shows at smaller venues. But, also that same year, she opened for both Brad Paisley and Kenny Chesney which meant performing at packed amphitheaters and stadiums as well as arenas.

As with the grosses, averages in attendance have also risen regularly on each tour. Concerts in the earliest years of her career, through the end of 2009, averaged 6,520 sold seats, while the “Play On” tour saw 7,687 tickets sold per show. Then, “Blown Away” averaged 7,942 and was surpassed by “Storyteller” with an average of 10,571. In 2019, the “Cry Pretty” jaunt welcomed an average of 11,438 fans per night.

On the most recent tour, New York City’s Madison Square Garden and Bridgestone Arena in Nashville produced the best box-office results among the 55 venues. New Yorkers bought the most tickets with 16,900 sold, while the Nashville venue logged the top gross: $1.32 million from 16,149 tickets. Both venues are booked on the upcoming tour as well with New York’s date set for Feb. 21, 2023 and Nashville’s on March 1.