Sphere Shows Selling Well

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2023-08-29)

Original Story: August 29, 2023
(Please see update at the end)

Tickets for the U2 performances are going quickly for U2’s 25 shows at The Sphere in Las Vegas, but there are still options left via Ticketmaster to purchase tickets. One of the features of the Ticketmaster site is you can see the ticket availability for individual shows, and right now based on what is showing as available, these 25 shows in Las Vegas have sold very well.

While it would be nice to say that this is a true reflection of sales, we know that Ticketmaster may hold back some tickets in order to sell less desirable ones. But as we get closer to the actual shows, doing that becomes less likely. The numbers presented below are the tickets that were available at Ticketmaster at 9pm on Saturday August 26, and may not reflect total availability.

Right now what’s available? Overall the band are expected to play for 20,000 per night, for a total of a half-million tickets being sold. And U2 seem well on their way to a sell out. Right now four shows are marked as sold out, an additional show is not marked as a sell out but no tickets are available. Looking at all 25 shows overall, 2.57% of the tickets are still available for these shows across all 25. (97.43% of tickets have sold.)

There are five weeks to go before the first show, which is one of the sold out shows. That’s five additional weeks to advertise the show. We are told that the band will start advertising these shows on the outside of the Sphere soon. And on Friday night “performing tonight” banners went up briefly on the outside as they tested new graphics.

How are the sales going? Again, based purely on what Ticketmaster shows is still available we can see no tickets available in the 400 level section, and no tickets available in the Red Zone or GA sections. Less that 300 tickets are available in the 300-level seats across all of these shows, and the first show with any availability in this section is the December 2 show. There are about 1300 tickets available currently in the 200-level seats across all of the shows, and the first show showing availability is the October 18 show.

Most of the tickets currently available are at the back of the 100-level section, tickets which Ticketmaster have notified people contain a limited view of the screens but a full view of the band. These sections are completely available at some of the later dates. All are marked with warnings about the view of the screens.

As expected the middle sections are more popular than the sides, with section 101 and 110 on the far right and far left being the least popular. Based on the availability showing, Adam’s side of the venue is slightly more popular than The Edge’s side of the venue. This may be due to the positioning of the Red Zone in diagrams, which is on Edge’s side of the venue, between these sections and the stage.

If you are looking for tickets, the Saturday nights are most popular, and have the least amount of availability. The Fridays are also popular, and the Wednesday nights still have the most tickets available. However, the show with the most ticket availability still has only 8.47% of the overall tickets available, suggesting that it’s 91.53% sold. (The December 13, 2023 show is the show with the current most availability.)

As stated, these numbers are reflective only on what Ticketmaster is currently selling through their site. Another outlet, the Vibee ticket and hotel packages and VIP packages also do have inventory left, and last week ads started appearing on Facebook for “additional floor ticket packages available”. Unknown quantities would be available there. Also, just because this is all that is available now via Ticketmaster, they may still have additional inventories that will be listed in the weeks to come.

But overall based on what is available, and the fact that Ticketmaster is making offers to buy back some tickets for the earlier shows, suggests the sales are going well. Whether this is to individual concert goers or if a large number were sold to casinos, ticket brokers etc. remains to be seen as well. U2 fans may be used to seeing sold out shows by this point in time, but this is the first time that U2 has used variable pricing on tickets, which is designed to have tickets available for purchase right up until the day of the show, with ticket prices being reduced as demand reduces.

For more coverage of U2’s shows at The Sphere, please visit our U2 show archive. For those wondering, no, we didn’t count dots by hand, we tested and used a tool developed for counting objects based on colour and shape, and spot checked some of the results to ensure accuracy of the results. Thanks to Justin for inspiring me to take a closer look.

Update: September 4, 2023

With a month left to go, U2 stepped up advertising for the shows in Las Vegas last week. This included a debut of a video on the outside of the Sphere itself, and advertising on social media, showing a new logo.

As expected, TM has made more tickets available than what was available when we did our earlier count which was used for the article above. It’s impossible to understand what inventory may be left over at this time, as it is likely Ticketmaster is holding back 400 level seats, in favour of trying to sell more expensive seats in the 100, 200, and 300 level seats right now. When we did our earlier count, the first show with any tickets available in the 300 level was the December 2 show. Now 300 level seats are available for most Wednesdays, and some Fridays starting with the October 11 show.

Ticketmaster has also started to reduce prices on some of the tickets. Many of the Platinum tickets have started to be reduced to face value (although many still exist set at above face value, meaning prices can still vary between now and showtime.) The Platinum model sees tickets priced high when first put on sale, and reduced as demand for tickets slow. This model tries to maximize ticket price, while resulting in a sold out show close to show time as tickets continue to reduce. The shows where the tickets have started to be reduced to face value are those in October and early November. The December shows still have a lot of Platinum tickets in inventory.

But maybe a surprise is how small the increase in overall added tickets is. No tickets were added in the 400 sections. 303 tickets in total were added in the 300 sections over 25 shows (although likely a few more, as tickets have been selling in the past week). 772 tickets were added in the 200 sections over 25 shows between our count last week and this week. The number of 100 level tickets available has reduced overall by 402 since our earlier count. (GA tickets were also added to the inventory but sold quickly in about two hours after they were added. This additional inventory was due to the stage being put in place, and final capacity numbers for the venue being finalized. Some of the VIP and Hotel package tickets that remain unsold have started to be released back into the general inventory as well we were told for the earliest shows.

When we looked earlier about 2.57% of the total tickets were available to buy in the Ticketmaster inventory. Now there’s a few more, about 2.70% are now available. Tickets have been added overall. But not a lot, and it still suggests about 90% of the tickets have sold for these shows. It’s kind of crazy to think there’s a very good chance U2 will sell out these 25 shows and will play to a half a million people in Las Vegas before the end of the year. The first five are already sold out. For comparison, U2’s 8 night run at Madison Square Garden in 2015 saw them play to 150,000 ticket holders. Their 3-night stand at Croke Park in 2009 saw them play to 243,200 people. One more note of interest maybe, the November 1 show is now showing the most availability with 7.27% of the tickets available based on what Ticketmaster is currently offering.

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