2024 Concert Market Rankings: No. 3 Las Vegas

COME ALL BELIEVERS: Rock legends U2 perform inside Sphere during the opening weekend of the groundbreaking 40-date “U2:UV Achtung Baby” series. Photo by Rich Fury

No. 3 Las Vegas
Bright Light City: Las Vegas Changes The Game

Reported Market Gross | $600,017,204
Reported Ticket Sales | 3,410,840
Average Ticket Price | $175.91

Las Vegas slipped a spot from last year’s concert market rankings, sliding to No. 3, passed by Los Angeles, which takes the runner-up position.

That’s likely more a reflection of LA — which benefited from a year wholly without California’s pandemic restrictions and rebounded to its usual place in the hierarchy — than it is of any shortcomings of Sin City which, after all, still punches well above its demographic weight. The nation’s 40th largest media market is nevertheless the nation’s third best concert market.

Las Vegas’ total gross this year came in at just a shade more than $600 million, up nearly 16%. As usual – the result of the residency-heavy, legacy-act heavy, special edition-heavy nature of the market – Las Vegas paced the rankings in average ticket price at a boffo $175.91, also up 16% from last year and some $52 ahead of LA, the second-priciest market.

So far, we’ve ignored the elephant in the room, which in this case is the big orb just off the Strip.

Sphere opened in September, debuting its technological and audiovisual wonders
to the world after years of preparation. A state-of-the-art superstructure could only
be introduced with the world’s biggest band and indeed U2 led the way in grosses in
Sin City. The 17 shows that fell during the reporting period grossed a total of $109,751,705 on 280,717 tickets, according to Pollstar Boxoffice reports. That’s nearly $70 million ahead of the second set of shows – Usher’s 34 dates at Dolby Live at MGM Las Vegas.

Sphere, even with just one run of shows, still ranked as the world’s fifth-highest grossing arena, one spot behind Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, which obviously books a more traditional schedule, including Drake, who grossed an impressive $4.1 million. The aforementioned Dolby Live came in as the No. 2 theater.

The biggest building in town, Allegiant Stadium – which will host Super LVIII in February, as Las Vegas’ position as a professional sports city is solidified after decades in, well, the desert – ranked as the world’s No. 4 stadium, reporting $128.2 million in grosses. That was paced by Beyoncé, who totaled nearly $25.8 million over two shows. P!NK joined the party with a gross of nearly $9 million. And none of that counts two Taylor Swift “Eras Tour” shows in March that no doubt posted big numbers.

The stadium and (traditional) arena shows simply add ballast – and shimmer – to what was already a very successful entertainment model that’s worked for decades. All but one of Pollstar’s Top 15 residencies were in Las Vegas, paced by U2 (it should be noted that promoter Arthur Fogel and manager Irving Azoff insisted to Pollstar that “UV:U2 Achtung Baby Live At Sphere” isn’t really a residency).

Whether shows at Sphere count as a “residency” may remain an open question but what those U2 shows have proven is that it really is a game-changer, especially as fans – and artists – figure it out.

“Sphere has made us think about live entertainment in a completely different way,” Josephine Vaccarello, Executive Vice President, Live, for Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp., told Pollstar. “We’re educating fans on what’s different about the experience at Sphere, and artists on how to think differently about the new opportunities for creativity that Sphere presents.”