Michael Jackson‘s comeback performances are supposed to kick off at the O2 Arena in London, ENG, on July 8. All 50 dates reportedly sold out, practically as fast as the tickets could be issued. The 50-show residency in the 20,000-seat capacity venue means 1 million tickets sold. Right?
Well, maybe not. After the March 13 on-sales, promoter AEG Live and CNN reported that 750,000 tickets were sold to the 50-show residency, which would set the arena’s nightly capacity around 15,000.
However, the venue will be configured for closer to 16,000 to 17,000 people, presumably with no tickets sold behind the stage in a proscenium setting, according to the British concert industry trade publication Audience. When the staging is set up in the venue, and like almost every other tour in a large building, more tickets will be sold due to production kills. The promoters will then be able to see which previously held-back tickets will have decent sightlines.
The shows are expected to gross $72.2 million from ticket sales. “We often talk about unprecedented demand,” Ticketmaster Managing Director Chris Edmonds told Audience, “but we witnessed a live entertainment phenomenon.”
“The idea of booking these capital market arena residencies is something [AEG president] Tim Leiweke and I have toyed with before the 02 opened,” added AEG Live CEO Randy Philips. “We had a list of artists we thought who could do it, but had only ever really thought of acts doing five or 10 nights.”
The venue record is held by Prince with 21 concerts, followed by The Spice Girls with 17 shows.