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Madison Square Garden Resets Year-End Venue Revenue Record Thanks to Shows by Harry Styles, Billy Joel

The iconic New York arena is the year's top-grossing venue of any capacity range.

This story is part of Billboard‘s The Year in Touring package — read more stories about the top acts, tours and venues of 2022 here.

In the first full year of tracking since the pandemic, New York’s Madison Square Garden (MSG) returns to No. 1 on Billboard’s year-end Top Venues (15,001+ capacity) chart. But more than that, MSG is the highest-grossing venue of any size or shape, eclipsing all stadiums, arenas, theaters and clubs. According to figures reported to Billboard Boxscore, Madison Square Garden hosted 124 shows during the tracking period, combining to $241.4 million and 1.8 million tickets.

For those following Billboard’s monthly Boxscore charts, MSG’s No. 1 finish shouldn’t be a huge surprise. The arena led the monthly venue chart in February, August and September, the last of which was a record-setter for the biggest one-month sum for a venue since the monthly rankings launched in early 2019. MSG’s 22 September shows raked in a combined $64.3 million.

MSG appeared on the 10-position chart for 10 of the year’s 12 months, only missing in January and March. Otherwise, including its three months at No. 1, it spent half of the year in the top three.

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With 124 shows, MSG’s calendar was packed. Still, some heavy hitters can take some credit for its ultimate triumph. Harry Styles, No. 1 on the year-end Top Boxscores chart, led the charge with his mammoth 15-show residency. The shows collectively grossed $63.1 million and sold 277,000 tickets between Aug. 20 and Sept. 21, a key factor in the venue’s monthly wins.

And while they are regarded as individual engagements, Billy Joel’s ongoing residency continued with 11 shows during the tracking year – one show in each month except for January, during a largely dark period amid the Omicron wave. His shows combined to $29.6 million and 205,000 tickets sold. That means that Styles and Joel’s 26 shows accounted for $92.7 million, or 39% of the venue’s total annual gross.

Following Styles atop the heap, Phish ($8.8 million), Rage Against the Machine ($8.2 million), Elton John ($6.9 million) and Genesis ($5.3 million) round out MSG’s top five grossing concert engagements of the year with multi-show runs. Based on attendance, Styles leads Phish (76,000), Rage Against the Machine (71,000), John Mulaney (42,000) and Luke Combs (36,000).

MSG became the first venue to earn more than $200 million in a year when it closed out 2019 with $221.7 million. The arena reaches new heights three years later, but considering 2020 and 2021 were shortened due to COVID, its own record re-set is essentially immediate. The $241.4 million gross is the largest for any venue in a single year.

While Boxscore charts date back to the late ‘80s, year-end venue charts launched in 1999. In those 24 years, MSG has led the charge among venues with a capacity of 15,001 or more in 14 of those years. After starting at No. 6 in 1999, MSG was No. 1 for nine consecutive years from 2000-2008. It then floated around the top 10 while London’s O2 Arena assumed the throne from 2009-2016, falling one year short of MSG’s record ‘00s-era reign.

MSG regained the title for 2017-2020, slipped to No. 2 last year behind Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena, and returns to the summit for 2022.