Elton John played his final U.S. touring concerts over the weekend, saying goodbye to his fans on the road in America with three shows at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium. With reports for his last 13 domestic shows, the total gross for the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour sprints closer to the top of the all-time Boxscore heap. According to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore, John’s goodbye tour has grossed $749.9 million and sold over 5 million tickets since launching in 2018.
That means that since our last report on his whereabouts, John added almost $90 million to his total gross and is now within $30 million of Ed Sheeran’s The Divide Tour, which finished with a record-setting $776.4 million. The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour has passed U2’s 360 Tour ($736.4 million) to become the second-highest grossing tour in Boxscore history. (John still has about 50 shows left next year in Australia and Europe, so he could surpass Sheeran’s record soon enough — more on that in a moment.)
Ultimately, the tour’s North American stadium leg added $222.1 million to its total gross, doubling the revenue of his domestic arena run in the Spring, and tripling the revenue of his Summer spree of European stadium shows. His Fall dates averaged $6.7 million and 40,500 tickets.
Those three final Dodger Stadium shows grossed $23.5 million and sold 142,970 tickets on Nov. 17, 19 and 20. The last of those was livestreamed on Disney+ and featured guest appearances by Brandi Carlile, Kiki Dee and Dua Lipa. It was the biggest gross and attendance total of the entire tour, surpassing the $16.7 million take at Gillette Stadium and the 99,827 ticket count at MetLife Stadium, all of which played in July.
It was John’s third trip to Dodger Stadium, following shows in 1992 (two nights – $3.4 million; 99,453 tickets) and 1975 (two nights).
With $26.5 million separating John’s farewell big from Sheeran’s mid-career high, each report becomes more tense than the last. The trek will continue with 10 shows in Australia and New Zealand in January. He played 38 shows on the continent between November 2019 and March 2020, averaging $2.5 million. At that rate, he’d end January at $774.4 million, just $2 million short of the record.
But his previous Oceania run was in arenas, and his 2023 shows will be in stadiums. With ballooned venue capacities, he’s bound to break Sheeran’s record early in the new year, and even if ticket prices (and thus, grosses) stay modest, he’s got another 40-plus shows in Europe to follow, making it all but inevitable that John will set a new all-time high. It’s just a matter of when.