Adele hit the record-breaking sales average by tapping into massive demand for the small number of tickets available — about 100,000 overall for the shows at the 4,200-seat theater. (Officials with Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation did not provide comment for this story, and reps for Adele did not respond when contacted by Billboard).
It took approximately six hours to sell all 100,000 tickets through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan platform, which required fans to register in advance and wait in a digital queue to buy passes to one of the 24 shows running Friday and Saturday nights from Jan. 21 to April 16. When it was their turn, fans were ushered onto a checkout page where many saw the price of tickets for the first time.
Tickets for the concerts started at $860 a piece (which includes a 27% to 32% fee to Ticketmaster) for the front section of the Colosseum and $600 for the front of the upper balcony. There were a handful of $85 tickets available for each show, as well, according to Ticketmaster, and a few dozen seats in the front three rows of the orchestra section — about 1% of all tickets — were priced at more than $5,000 per ticket as part of Ticketmaster’s platinum seating program. Platinum tickets are priced to demand, meaning fans pay Ticketmaster and the artist the “street value” of the tickets (i.e. what the front row tickets would cost on sites like StubHub) and serves as a means of capturing some of the markup value for the artist.
Each show generated approximately $600,000 in fee revenue for the venue and Ticketmaster, a staggering number when compared to how much money the early Las Vegas residency shows generated. Celine Dion’s two Vegas residencies — A New Day (2003-2007) and Celine (2011-2019) — are the highest and second highest-grossing Las Vegas residencies of all time bringing in a combined $630.6 million in sales. Dion averaged $539,000 in sales for each show in the New Day series and $654,000 for Celine. Elton John averaged $673,000 in sales for his 2004-2009 Red Piano series, while Britney Spears averaged $555,000 for her Piece of Me show, which ran from 2013-2017.
More recently, artists like Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga have pushed the price tag higher and fans — many unable to attend concerts since early 2020 — have happily scooped up tickets. Mars has average $1.6 million per show for his 12-show residency at two Park MGM theaters — 10 at the Park Theater in Las Vegas plus two on Aug. 6-7 at The Theater at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md. Gaga averaged $1.5 million per show for the Enigma series at the Park Theater in 2019.
While some fans took to Twitter to vent about ticket prices, the sale on Wednesday seemed to run smoothly without any major disruptions. The sale was originally slated for Tuesday, however an Amazon server outage forced it to be delayed by a day.