Billy Joel's Madison Square Garden Residency Turns 5: $130 Million in the Bank & No Sign Of Stopping

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock
Billy Joel performs at Madison Square Garden in New York City on July 18, 2018.

Five years deep into his historic monthly residency at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden, Billy Joel impacts the Hot Tours recap dated Feb. 2. According to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore, Joel grossed $4.6 million due to his New Year’s Eve performance at NYCB Live in Uniondale, N.Y. and the Jan. 24 concert at MSG.

His most recent Madison Square Garden engagement marks his 60th since beginning his residency five years ago on Jan. 27, 2014. Over these five years, Joel has grossed $129.9 million at the arena, unstoppably consistent in his ability to sell out all sixty shows. The attendance count has hardly moved since 2014, ranging from the highpoint of 18,795 tickets (June 17, 2016) to the relative low-light of 18,293 (Nov. 21, 2016).

Below is a breakdown of his annual grosses at Madison Square Garden. 

Year – Gross; Tickets Sold

2014 – $24.4 million gross revenue; 223,921 tickets sold

2015 – $26 million; 224,244

2016 – $25 million; 224,269

2017 – $23.9 million; 205,839 (11 shows in 2017, as opposed 12 in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018)

2018 – $28.2 million; 223,745

With attendance barely fluctuating from one show to another, grosses also remained consistent in 2018, but the year marked a high point for Joel’s residency. After shifting between $23.9 million and $26 million from 2014 to 2017, he managed to jump 18% in 2018 due to increased ticket prices. The residency began with tickets set at $119.50, $99.50, and $59.50. There was a slight uptick for the P1 ticket to $123.50 in 2016 but the 3% boost didn’t significantly affect grosses. In 2018 however, tickets increased further to $139.50 on the high end and $65.50 on the low end.

Circling back to his Jan. 24 engagement that lands him on this week’s recap, tickets have again pushed to $149.50, a slight 7% increase that helps his latest show become the second-highest grossing concert of the entire residency at $2.4 million. Joel has shows scheduled at Madison Square Garden through Aug. 28, likely with more to come.

While Joel’s Madison Square Garden residency has grossed nearly $130 million, his reign over the arena extends to 88 shows since Billboard Boxscore began tracking touring data in 1990. His total venue gross stands tall at $162.5 million. Throughout his entire career, Joel has grossed $861 million (including his extensive co-headline touring with Elton John).

Billy Joel isn’t the only artist cracking the Hot Tours list via Madison Square Garden, as Sebastian Maniscalco hits No. 2 with four shows in the round over two nights. As previously reported, the stand-up extraordinaire grossed a mammoth $8.3 million and sold 72,960 tickets, easily breaking the records for the highest-grossing and most-attended North American comedy engagement in the history of Billboard Boxscore.

Previously, Dave Chappelle’s 10-show run at Radio City Music Hall (June 18-27, 2014) held both records, at $4.8 million grossed and 59,452 tickets sold. Maniscalco out-grossed Chappell by 70% and out-sold him by 23%.

Globally, Maniscalco trails two 20-show engagements by Peter Kay at the Manchester Evening News Arena in England. In 2010 and 2011, Kay grossed $10.7 million and $10.8 million, respectively, selling a combined 388,821 tickets across the 40 shows.

Maniscalco has built up his incredible northeastern fan base over the last few years. He sold out seven shows at New York’s Beacon Theatre (May 1-9, 2016), followed by ten sellouts at Huntington’s The Paramount (Feb. 1-7, 2017). Then, it was five performances at Radio City Music Hall (April 19-21, 2018), and culminated in his record-setting weekend at MSG. His ten biggest engagements include these four New York stints, plus four in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. In contrast to his four sold-out arena shows in Manhattan, he recently played two shows at Minneapolis’s 2,100-seat State Theatre and two nights at San Francisco’s 2,300-seat The Masonic.

See below for the full Hot Tours recap, featuring Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, and Andrea Bocelli.

 HOT TOURS - FEB. 2, 2019
 Ranked by Gross, Compiled from Boxscores reported Jan. 22 - 28
  
 ACT
 Total Gross
 Show Date Range
 Venue, City (Shows/Sellouts)
 Total Attendance (Capacity)
  
RANK 
1Justin Timberlake
 $12,402,868
 Jan. 12 - 24
 FedExForum, Memphis, Tenn (1/1)
 Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, La. (1/1)
 Verizon Arena, North Little Rock, Ark. (1/1)
 AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas (1/1)
 Toyota Center, Houston, Texas (1/1)
 American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas (1/1)
 90,822 (90,822)
  
2Sebastian Maniscalco
 $8,282,629
 Jan. 19 - 20
 Madison Square Garden, New York (4/4)
 72,960 (72,960)
  
3Billy Joel
 $4,660,760
 Dec. 31 - Jan. 24
 NYCB Live, Home of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y. (1/1)
 Madison Square Garden, New York (1/1)
 32,999 (32,999)
  
4Metallica
 $4,409,450
 Jan. 18 - 24
 BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla. (1/1)
 Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn. (1/1)
 33,952 (33,952)
  
5Andrea Bocelli
 $4,093,490
 Nov. 2 - 3
 O2 Arena, London (0/2)
 31,405 (32,526)
  
6Keith Urban
 $3,765,680
 Jan. 25 - 26
 Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney (0/2)
 23,398 (24,000)
  
7Pete Tong
 $2,292,020
 Nov. 30 - Dec. 1
 O2 Arena, London (0/2)
 34,283 (37,958)
  
8Florence + The Machine
 $2,251,590
 Nov. 21 - 22
 O2 Arena, London (0/2)
 35,821 (37,540)
  
9Paul McCartney
 $2,110,660
 Dec. 16
 O2 Arena, London (1/1)
 15,651 (15,651)
  
10Elton John
 $2,017,373
 Jan. 18
 Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif. (1/1)
 14,749 (14,749)

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