(from Sports Business Journal, October 1-7, 2012) Numerous NFL, MLS, and MLB stadiums have taken the leap in to the concert promoting business. Following Bruce Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball” tour of 2012, major league and professional teams have explored the profitable concert industry. By taking on the promoting role, teams no longer have to rent out their facility. This can lead to greater revenue sharing because organizations have the capability to get a piece of the ticket revenue and no longer look to promoting giants, such as Live Nation, for the marketing of their event.
An example of profitable sales is the three-night Springsteen tour, which generated $14.4 million in gross ticket sales to MetLife Stadium, with over 55,000 fans attending. Teams are gaining experience in the concert business by pursuing shows, and now, increasing their share of revenue. Stadium consultants responsible for booking shows state the number of clubs choosing to promote their own concerts is becoming a popular trend.
According to Jeff Apregan, Gridiron Stadium Network consultant, the “Brothers of the Sun” tour involving Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw produced $42 million in gross ticket sales on attendance of more than 500,000. As the word of this profitable trend spread, teams like the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns have jumped on board the concert business. Jim Ross, Senior Vice President of Business Development for the Cleveland Browns says the concert business provides a nice catalyst for suite sales for the show, as well as the Browns sales. The large number of attendance allows the organization to launch some of their new concession offerings and high-end hospitality before the football season begins.
The Roger Waters “The Wall” tour played in ballparks such as Wrigley Field, Fenway Park, AT&T Park, Rogers Centre, Yankee Stadium, and Citizens Bank Park. Live Nation promoted much of this tour, but teams still generated significant profit from the concession and parking alone. Concession revenue generated over $500,000 from a typical game at Wrigley Field.