Year in Review: Madison Square Garden Remains Top-Selling Venue

As we count down to 2019, Ticket Club is reviewing the past year in the entertainment industry. Follow along with our series as we explore the best of 2018’s live events, determined by internal sales data. 

There’s a reason it’s called the World’s Most Famous Arena. Madison Square Garden has continued its multi-year reign as the best-selling venue on the secondary ticketing market.

The Garden unsurprisingly has captured the top spot on our Top 10 list of the country’s most popular entertainment venues due to its high-traffic location in the heart of Manhattan as well as serving as home to several professional sports teams and a frequent host of major concerts. The same could also be said for the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Boston’s TD Garden, Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center and Capital One Arena in Washington, DC – all of which landed within the Top 10 as well.

Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena fared well this year thanks to the high-profile UFC 229 fight between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, boxing’s Alvarez-Golovkin match, and serving as the site of three Stanley Cup Finals games. For these events and more, it notched the No. 3 place in the rankings.

Bolstered by Super Bowl LII’s massive sales, Minneapolis’ U.S. Bank Stadium finished strong in 2018 at the No. 5 spot. Similarly, Fenway Park followed closely behind after hosting several playoff games on the road to the Red Sox winning the World Series.

While championship sports games were billed as the biggest event to fill many of the Top 10 venues, one particular concert tour was able to break through as a top seller. Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour was the best-selling event to invade Madison Square Garden, TD Garden and the Wells Fargo Center – which is fitting given that he was also the year’s biggest-selling performer.

Madison Square Garden may be the top venue to take in a show or game, but others were more cost-effective. Wells Fargo Center events garnered an overall average ticket price of just under $121, the lowest of the Top 10 venues. Fenway Park was just ahead with an average of roughly $125. MSG had the sixth-highest ticket prices, hovering around $160, while T-Mobile Arena pulled some $281 per ticket and U.S. Bank Stadium – skewed by the outlandish ticket prices for Super Bowl LII – was the most expensive with nearly $420 on average.

See the full list of venues, including a breakdown of their single biggest event and pricing trends, in the table below.

Ticket Club’s Top 20 Best-Selling Venues of 2018

Rank Venue City, State Best-Selling Event Best Seller Average Ticket Price Average Ticket Price Across All Events
1 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Elton John on Oct. 19 $426.45 $160.28
2 Staples Center Los Angeles, CA Bruno Mars on Oct. 27 $353.77 $155.92
3 T-Mobile Arena Las Vegas, NV UFC 229 $1,020.89 $281.36
4 TD Garden Boston, MA Elton John on Oct. 6 $353.48 $161.76
5 US Bank Stadium Minneapolis, MN Super Bowl LII $4,328.57 $419.87
6 Fenway Park Boston, MA World Series Game 1 $695.74 $125.36
7 Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia, PA Elton John on Sept. 12 $252.67 $120.67
8 Capital One Arena Washington, DC NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game 4 $1,415.46 $159.29
9 AT&T Stadium Dallas, TX Cowboys vs. Saints on Nov. 29 $197.63 $134.11
10 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN CMA Awards on Nov. 14 $572.33 $152.40

Want to see more posts like this? Check out the rest of our Year in Review here.

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