Over the course of a live-music 12 months, vacation spot festivals and big stadium exhibits get probably the most consideration, however arenas stay the spine of the worldwide live performance business.
Indoor venues accommodating 10,000 or extra followers accounted for 71 % of complete attendance and 76 % of complete ticket grosses reported to Billboard Boxscore throughout a latest 12-month interval.
All arenas share enterprise challenges: filling their occasion calendars, enhancing eating choices, upgrading know-how and — extra essential than ever — protecting followers protected.
“The world retains altering on us,” says Nick Eaves, who runs the Scotiabank Arena (previously the Air Canada Centre) in Toronto and — like most executives in his place — has overseen heightened safety measures within the 16 months because the terrorist bombing exterior an Ariana Grande live performance on the Manchester Arena in England in 2017.
Globally, arenas are screening followers extra carefully than ever, utilizing airport-style, full-body metallic detectors and even facial recognition know-how. They’ve additionally put in obstacles in opposition to automobile assaults and strengthened partnerships with native regulation enforcement businesses.
The venues acknowledged right here dominate Billboard Boxscore’s worldwide rating in two classes: buildings with a capability of 15,001 or extra and people with a capability of 10,001-15,000. The rankings are based mostly on a 12-month gross (as designated within the capsules under): complete ticket gross sales reported to Boxscore between June 20, 2017, and June 17, 2018. (Not all occasions happening throughout this era are reported by venues.) This 12 months, buildings from the United States, Europe and Australia high these lists.
TOP 10 ARENAS
CAPACITY: 15,001 AND OVER
1. T-MOBILE ARENA, Las Vegas
Concert Capacity: 20,000
12-Month Gross: $164.four million
George Strait’s residency at T-Mobile Arena, with a number of back-to-back nights, helped propel the venue, which opened in 2016, to the highest of this 12 months’s listing. Strait accounted for 3 of the 5 high Boxscores throughout the 12-month measurement interval, with Justin Timberlake and U2 rounding out T-Mobile Arena’s listing. GM Dan Quinn notes that hockey and boxing additionally contributed enormously to the venue's profitable 12 months. That included an unlikely run on the Stanley Cup by the NHL’s Golden Knights, and the 2017 matchups of Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor (Aug. 26) and Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin (Sept. 16). The two bouts grossed a collective $100 million in ticket gross sales. “For some buildings, that may be an awesome 12 months,” says Quinn. “We did it in two occasions.”
2. MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, New York
Concert Capacity: 19,301
12-Month Gross: $158.6 million
“One hundred sold-out exhibits by a single artist in a single venue is extraordinary,” says Rich Claffey, govt vp venue administration on the Garden, the place Billy Joel marked that milestone on July 18 — “40 years after his first MSG efficiency in 1978 and four-and-a-half years after he started his legendary residency on the Garden,” provides Claffey. The fabled venue continues to improve its lighting, manufacturing and safety know-how, whereas enhancing gathering areas just like the Delta Club, the JP Morgan Club and the members-only Suite Sixteen lounge. During the 12-month measurement interval, its Boxscore receipts have been bolstered by Paul McCartney, Guns N’ Roses, P!nk, the 2018 Grammy Awards and Phish, whose 13 sellouts in July and August 2017 grossed over $15 million.
three. O2 ARENA, London
Concert Capacity: 21,000
12-Month Gross: $147.1 million
Europe’s main area is ready to get even busier this fall, when a brand new 210,000-square-foot purchasing and leisure outlet opens within the O2 complicated. “It makes us an actual daytime vacation spot in addition to a nighttime one,” says O2 vp/GM John Langford. He anticipates an additional four million guests to the location per 12 months, making sturdy safety enhancements extra essential than ever, together with new exterior obstacles to forestall automobile assaults. The $four.76 million in field workplace gross sales that London native Sam Smith generated from 4 exhibits in April certified because the highest gross of the 12-month measurement interval, and Metallica’s 22,211 followers in October “broke our attendance report,” says Langford.
four. THE FORUM, Inglewood, Calif.
Concert Capacity: 17,500
12-Month Gross: $100.2 million
Harry Styles has a particular place in his coronary heart for the “Fabulous Forum.” At a tour-closing present on the venue in July, Styles advised followers how he had “snuck in” to the Eagles soundcheck in 2014 when the band reopened the constructing. He stated he “all the time needed to play right here due to how particular the constructing is to him,” remembers Geni Lincoln, vp reserving and advertising, who was just lately promoted and co-manages the constructing with newly employed business veteran Rick Merrill. (The two are constructing upon the work of departing Forum GM Nick Spampanato.) Four exhibits by Bruno Mars in November that grossed $eight.four million have been the highest draw of the measurement interval, and up to date bookings by Maluma, Bad Bunny and Romeo Santos have the venue showcasing a number of the brightest Latin stars right now.
5. BARCLAYS CENTER, Brooklyn
Concert Capacity: 19,000
12-Month Gross: $80.52 million
While Paul McCartney scored the highest gross of the measurement interval ($four.four million for 2 nights in September 2017), Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global, which runs the sector, says some extent of native pleasure was the Tidal X live performance that befell final October, throughout which Brooklyn’s personal Jay-Z joined with New York natives Jennifer Lopez and Cardi B in addition to Stevie Wonder to lift $three.7 million to learn hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, Texas and elsewhere. “The present made a distinction past the partitions of Barclays,” says Yormark. The area additionally opened Featured on Flatbush, an area crammed with merchandise from performers and native up-and-coming designers, prior to now 12 months.
6. STAPLES CENTER, Los Angeles
Concert Capacity: 20,000
12-Month Gross: $80.5 million
Staples Center is experiencing one in all its greatest live performance years ever, with multiple-night runs from Roger Waters — who led the 12-month measurement interval with a $5.6 million gross for 3 exhibits in June 2017 — Kendrick Lamar, Hall & Oates, Tears for Fears, The Killers and Katy Perry, in addition to the three-day BET Experience with Chris Brown, SZA, Meek Mill and Ludacris. For a latest Ed Sheeran present, administration transformed the again of the home space into an English-style pub that bore the title of Sheeran’s tune tribute to his grandmother, “Nancy Mulligan.” “Ed simply beloved it,” says Lee Zeidman, president of Staples Center and L.A. Live, who provides, “We’re making an attempt to provide you with methods [to really] have interaction the artists and friends.”
7. QUDOS BANK ARENA, Sydney
Concert Capacity: 20,381
12-Month Gross: $70.four million
Qudos Bank Arena loved its greatest working outcomes over the previous 12 months, reviews GM Steve Hevern, with live shows by Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Bruno Mars and Jerry Seinfield, amongst others. “But P!nk’s efficiency is one which stands out,” says Hevern, who remembers that the singer, battling a respiratory an infection, took the stage on Aug. four “to supply an completely unbelievable present” — after which she was hospitalized to deal with a virus. Following further exhibits in August and September, the singer was on monitor to promote over 150,000 seats on the QBA, setting a brand new home report, says Hevern.
eight. SCOTIABANK ARENA, Toronto
Concert Capacity: 19,100
12-Month Gross: $70.2 million
On Canada Day, July 1, the Toronto venue identified for practically 20 years as Air Canada Centre was rechristened Scotiabank Arena as a part of an $800 million, 20-year naming rights deal. Nick Eaves, chief venues and operations officer at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the constructing, says the sector has began celebrating its historical past with photographs and memorabilia in show containers, reminiscent of handwritten lyrics belonging to the late Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip — which opened the venue in 1999 and headlined it 13 occasions — to a photograph of Drake’s customized OVO Sound-Toronto Raptors jacket. “As you progress by means of our occasion stage and second ground particularly,” says Eaves, “our crew has carried out an incredible job of telling these tales.”
9. AMERICA AIRLINES CENTER, Dallas
Concert Capacity: 20,100
12-Month Gross: $58.6 million
As the house of each the NBA’s Mavericks and the NHL’s Stars, Dallas’ American Airlines Center shares a problem with different venues which have sports activities groups as their anchor tenants. “Just discovering dates [for concerts] is changing into a problem,” says area COO/GM Dave Brown, noting that the venue hosts 50 exhibits yearly. “We are actually making an attempt to get strategic with how we fill our calendar.” Justin Timberlake’s two exhibits in May, which grossed $four.9 million, was the highest moneymaker of the measurement interval. But a private favourite for the chief was the 70th birthday live performance in July 2017 for native Texan Don Henley, which featured fellow members of the Eagles, Stevie Nicks and others. “We have been honored that he needed to do this right here,” says Brown.
10. PRUDENTIAL CENTER, Newark, N.J.
Concert Capacity: 17,500
12-Month Gross: $55.1 million
The Jersey area marked its 10th anniversary with a pair of live shows in April by Bon Jovi, which had christened the sector in 2008. “The incontrovertible fact that they opened the constructing 10 years in the past made it a poignant second for us,” says Sean Saddeh, govt vp leisure programming. In the previous 12 months, Prudential Center opened the Grammy Museum Experience, an offshoot of the West Coast museum, and held a groundbreaking ceremony for a brand new 22-acre park in entrance of the venue. “It’s going to be the brand new entrance yard to our facility,” says Saddeh, “and it’s going to actually rework the expertise for our followers.”
TOP 10 ARENAS
1. THE SSE HYDRO, Glasgow
Concert Capacity: 13,000
12-Month Gross: $48.9 million
Céline Dion’s first live performance within the Scottish metropolis in 21 years on Aug. 5, 2017, gave The SSE Hydro an early fifth-birthday current when the Canadian famous person achieved the best single-night gross within the venue’s historical past ($1.7 million). A residency by Scottish comedian Kevin Bridges beginning Oct. four will run for 19 nights and be the primary of that length by a solo artist. The SSE Hydro just lately upgraded its back-of-house and hospitality choices. “Consumer expectation is all concerning the expertise,” says head of stay leisure Debbie McWilliams. “We want to make sure that we’re protecting forward of the sport.”
2. BARCLAYCARD ARENA, Hamburg, Germany
Concert Capacity: 15,000
12-Month Gross: $46.2 million
Hamburg’s Barclaycard Arena, which opened in 2002, has invested closely in beefing up its tech infrastructure to satisfy the communication calls for of followers, putting in high-density Wi-Fi networks all through the constructing and upgrading present . “Constant new developments open thrilling areas for us,” says GM Steve Schwenkglenks, citing the venue’s means now to host a three-day esports occasion in October offered by video-game-competition firm ESL. With live shows over 5 nights in September 2017, German star Helene Fischer grossed $four.eight million, beating out the single-night ticket gross sales of Metallica and Depeche Mode within the area’s 12-month grosses.
three. HALLENSTADION, Zurich
Concert Capacity: 15,000
12-Month Gross: $36.5 million
Opening in 1939, Zurich’s Hallenstadion isn’t just Switzerland’s largest indoor venue, it’s one in all Europe’s most historic. Since present process a significant renovation in 2004 and 2005, the sector, guided by CEO Felix Frei, has frequently hosted the world’s largest acts, with performances by Roger Waters, Aerosmith, movie composer Hans Zimmer and German punk band Die Toten Hosen rating among the many venue’s latest top-grossing artists. Frei’s dream reserving? “Led Zeppelin for 20 unique exhibits.”
four. MERCEDES-BENZ ARENA, Berlin
Concert Capacity: 17,000
12-Month Gross: $35.7 million
Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz Arena celebrated its 10th anniversary this September, and the venue will mark one other important milestone on Oct. 13 with the opening of Mercedes Platz, a neighboring leisure district that includes a cinema, eating places, lodges, a bowling alley and an extra four,500-capacity music venue. The growth will make the AEG-owned facility an much more well-liked vacation spot, says managing director Michael Hapka, who singles out Kendrick Lamar’s March live performance as one of many 12 months’s highlights. “He actually made 15,000 folks turn into one voice singing his lyrics,” says Hapka.
5. BRISBANE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, Brisbane, Australia
Concert Capacity: 10,000; 14,500 within the spherical
12-Month Gross: $35 million
Few exhibits have examined the mettle of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre workers fairly like Ariana Grande’s date there in September 2017. In the wake of the terrorist assault exterior Grande’s Manchester Arena live performance 4 months earlier, safety was heightened for the one-night Brisbane reserving, which, for the primary time for a live performance on the 32-year-old venue, launched a no-bags coverage. Grande’s present was “highly effective and poignant,” remembers GM Trish McNamara. And it was successful, promoting nearly 11,000 tickets.
6. NYCB LIVE: HOME OF NASSAU VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUM, Uniondale, N.Y.
Concert Capacity: 15,000
12-Month Gross: $30.9 million
It took U2 26 years to return to the Nassau Coliseum, which reopened in April 2017 after an in depth renovation, however the Irish rockers’ present at NYCB Live in June was definitely worth the wait. “The complete stage setup, the usage of know-how after which clearly simply having Bono in the home, was inspiring,” says Brett Yormark of BSE Global, which operates the venue. Bob Dylan, Roger Waters and Paul McCartney have been different latest high exhibits on the area, the place renovation work is underway for the return of the NHL’s New York Islanders from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center by 2020.
7. RAC ARENA, Perth, Australia
Concert Capacity: 15,000
12-Month Gross: $25.54 million
For artists to play Western Australia’s capital metropolis, one of the vital distant on the planet, it requires further journey time and freight prices. But RAC Arena (previously Perth Arena, it was renamed on Sept. 1), together with the avid leisure followers who flock there, has made it definitely worth the effort. Céline Dion and Jerry Seinfeld bought out exhibits on the venue prior to now 12 months, and P!nk’s 4 live shows in July moved 58,639 tickets, eclipsing the venue report that she set in 2013. “We’re seeing some unbelievable younger expertise coming by means of arenas, like Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes, Dua Lipa and twenty one pilots,” says GM Michael Scott, “which paints a constructive future for touring in our market and on a world scale.”
eight. INFINITE ENERGY CENTER, Duluth, Ga.
Concert Capacity: 13,000
12-Month Gross: $25.5 million
“I like to get bands in right here which have by no means performed this [venue] as a result of they are surely blown away by how cool this — what I name ‘little constructing’– is, from the acoustics to the sightlines,” says area GM Joey Dennis. U2 and Paul McCartney have been among the many famous person acts enjoying the venue for the primary time prior to now 12 months. The area’s means to host exhibits by the largest stars ensures extra high bookings will come to Duluth, says Dennis: “Word will get round.”
9. VAN ANDEL ARENA, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Concert Capacity: 12,500
12-Month Gross: $20.1 million
Despite its comparatively modest capability, Van Andel Arena, managed by venue firm SMG, has drawn a number of the high acts on tour prior to now 12 months, from the Eagles to Little Big Town to P!nk. SMG regional GM Richard MacKeigan says that the venue’s success “instills civic pleasure,” including, “We’re a bit constructing in a bit market that may be a publicly owned [venue]. And when the constructing succeeds, the group takes a way of pleasure in it. And they need to.”
10. MGM GRAND ARENA, Las Vegas
Concert Capacity: 14,500
12-Month Gross: $17.three million
When MGM Resorts International opened T-Mobile Arena in 2016, its present Las Vegas venue, MGM Grand Arena, needed to “elevate its sport,” says GM Scott Preston. This 12 months, the sector hosted the Academy of Country Music Awards (which needed to make a last-minute transfer from T-Mobile Arena because of the surprising hockey playoff run by the Golden Knights) in addition to the Billboard Music Awards and exhibits from Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson and Phil Collins. The large moneymakers in early 2018 have been two February exhibits by Hong Kong’s “God of Song,” Jacky Cheung, who introduced 40 vehicles, 80 performers and a street crew of 100 to the sector to play for 30,000 followers. “The typical setup for his stadium present in China is 5 days,” says Preston. “We set it up in two days — I flew to China to see the present beforehand and to ensure it would slot in the constructing.”
Contributors: Karen Bliss, Lars Brandle, Dave Brooks, Adrienne Gaffney, Mitchell Peters, Richard Smirke
This article initially appeared within the Sept. 29 challenge of Billboard.