With the help of sellout concerts by superstar touring acts like Bon Jovi, the Rolling Stones, Madonna, P!nk, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Swedish House Mafia, Muse and Beyonce, the first half of 2013 proved to be a strong period for arenas around the world.
?Billboard’s midyear touring recaps are compiled from Boxscore data for events that took place between Nov. 1, 2012, and May 31, 2013.
?The O2 Arena in London holds a strong lead at No. 1 on the midyear tally, reporting $119.6 million in grosses from 128 shows that drew 1.4 million fans. (All Boxscore figures are in U.S. dollars.)
?O2 GM Rebecca Kane attributes much of the 23,000-capacity arena’s success during the period to sellout runs by P!nk, Bieber, One Direction, Michael Bublé and Barbra Streisand.
?“It has been an incredibly busy first half of the year at the O2,” Kane says. “Two of my personal favorites were Beyonce and our inaugural country music festival, Country 2 Country, which we launched in March and featured headliners Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood.”?
Ranking second on the midyear chart is the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, which opened in September with acts including Streisand and Jay-Z. The 19,000-capacity facility grossed $46.9 million and drew more than 690,000 people to 90 events.
?“Our arena aims to program a unique blend of entertainment, given the diverse Brooklyn population,” Barclays Center VP of programming Sean Saadeh says, noting that other highlights during the midyear included performances by the Stones, Swedish House Mafia, Rihanna, Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band and Mumford & Sons.?
Back in the United Kingdom, the 21,000-capacity Manchester Arena reported grosses of $44.5 million from 77 shows that drew nearly 739,000 concert-goers, earning the SMG-managed building the No. 3 spot on the midyear list.
?“It’s testament to our ongoing success that we’ve not only hosted the biggest names in live entertainment in the first six months—including P!nk, Beyonce, One Direction, Rihanna and the Killers—but have sold out multiple performances by these artists and many more,” arena GM James Allen says.?
Multiple-night sellouts by touring heavyweights like Madonna (two shows), Bieber (two), Phish (four), Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival (two) and Muse (two) helped Madison Square Garden in New York place fourth on the midyear top 10 list. The 20,697-capacity facility earned $39.5 million in grosses and 458,130 in attendance from 33 events.
?MSG Entertainment executive VP of bookings Bob Shea says other highlights during the period at the Garden included concerts by One Direction, Swedish House Mafia, Leonard Cohen, Zac Brown Band, Maroon 5, the Who, Alicia Keys and the “12-12-12” Hurricane Sandy relief concert.
?At No. 5 on the midyear tally is the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, which reported $38.4 million in grosses and drew more than 315,000 fans to 34 shows.?
Brian Morris, CEO of Melbourne & Olympic Parks, which manages the facility, notes that some of the standouts at the 16,820-capacity arena included Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Lopez, Radiohead, Keith Urban, Barry Gibb, the Jesus Christ Superstar Arena Spectacular and the Wiggles Celebration tour.
?Ranking sixth is the 20,000-capacity Staples Center in Los Angeles, with a gross of $36.2 million for 30 events.
?Staples Center senior VP/GM Lee Zeidman cites two-nighters by the Stones, Beyonce, Bieber and Lady Gaga and a three-show run by Muse as driving their success.?
Other noteworthy performances at Staples included sellouts by P!nk, Rihanna, Maroon 5, Bon Jovi, Morrissey and Vicente Fernandez, Zeidman says.
?Live entertainment proved strong in the Canadian market during the first half, as Toronto’s Air Canada Centre places seventh on the list, reporting a gross of $34.4 million. The 19,800-capacity building drew 359,948 fans to 30 events.
?Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment VP of live entertainment Wayne Zronik points to multiple-night bookings by Cohen, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Bon Jovi and Muse. Other highlights include sellouts by Underwood, the Stones, P!nk, Maroon 5, the Who, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, the Tragically Hip, Green Day and Fleetwood Mac.
?The 18,000-capacity Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., ranks at No. 8 on the midyear chart, reporting $32.7 million in grosses and drawing nearly 322,000 concert-goers to 41 shows.
?“We treat every promoter’s show as if it were our money in the guarantee,” Prudential Center president Rich Krezwick says. “We use every arena resource in our arsenal to assist our promoter partners.”
?In Europe, multiple-night sellouts like the Night of the Proms (seven) and Sinterklaas (six), as well as dates by Beyonce, Bieber, One Direction, P!nk, Swedish House Mafia, Muse and Mumford & Sons helped Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium, earn the No. 9 spot on the midyear recap. The 20,000-capacity venue grossed $32.4 million from 47 events.?
Sportpaleis CEO Jan Van Esbroeck says the venue is undergoing refurbishments that will soon expand its capacity to more than 23,000. “With a healthy market, massive marketing support and genius ticketing support, the Sportpaleis presents promoters and their acts a tempting offer to do good business,” Van Esbroeck says.
?Placing 10th on the midyear tally is the 21,242-capacity Bell Centre in Montreal, reporting $31.2 million in grosses and more than 363,000 in attendance for 50 shows.?
“The last six months were great,” Evenko executive VP/GM Jacques Aube says, noting successful concerts by Bieber; two-night runs by Bon Jovi, Cohen and Muse; Swedish House Mafia; Lady Gaga; Maroon 5; Rihanna; and P!nk.