Is Elton John concert the hottest resale ticket ever at TU Center?

Average ticket price is $382 on one online secondary site
Elton John will perform Friday night at the Times Union Center on his farewell tour.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Elton John will perform Friday night at the Times Union Center on his farewell tour.

Categories: Entertainment

Ten minutes.

That’s how long it took for tickets to sell out for Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour concert at Albany’s Times Union Center when they went on sale 13 months ago.

The show is Friday night.

Fans who just now are trying to get tickets to the show through Ticketmaster’s secondary site, ticketsnow.com, or other resale sites, are looking at prices ranging from $169 to over $1,000. (When tickets first went on sale on Feb. 2, 2018, they ranged from $45.50 to $220.50).

According to secondary market site seatgeek.com, at an average resale price of $382, there is stronger ticket demand for Elton John’s stop in Albany than any other concert that has taken place there since SeatGeek began tracking the secondary market in 2010. 

Paul McCartney (July 2014) is second at $287, followed by Metallica (October 2018) at $240, Bruce Springsteen (February 2016) at $212 and Justin Timberlake (July 2014) at $194.

Is this the hottest, most expensive ticket ever at the Times Union Center?

“It definitely could be, without having the data,” said TU Center General Manager Bob Belber on Tuesday.

“Let’s face it, Elton John is one of the biggest [artists] and arguably the biggest artist that is on tour today, and what a career he’s had. It’s fantastic that we’re able to get him here. It’s been a long wait — over a year — but the people who are going to see it are going to see an incredible show.”

Belber cautioned prospective ticket buyers who are using secondary sites.

“I’m not crazy about the resale market. I never have been. But I realize that people want to see the show and I get why people are going there and buying them and paying more money. But they have to be careful that they are going to a reliable platform and site.

“The only one that I know of that you can 100 percent be assured that the ticket that you buy will be usable is ticketsnow.com through the Ticketmaster secondary system. But this is not to say that other sites may not be reliable.”

For Belber, the Elton John concert in some ways brings back memories of the McCartney show, which he says is the best concert he has seen at the Times Union Center is his 25 years at the venue.

“For the people who saw McCartney — we talked about it for weeks after. I think it’s the best show I’ve seen in this building, and second to that is the Rolling Stones, I want to say, in 2003.”

“[McCartney] played for three hours, and the thing I was amazed at — he never took a sip of water and he had the clearest, most beautiful voice.”

Belber said he was also amazed at the pre-concert buzz, before the 13,500 fans filled the arena. There was a piano in the atrium and people who knew Beatles songs would sit down and play them. “And hundreds of people were singing along, before the show even started, singing at the top of their lungs.”

Big month
Elton John is just the start of a huge month at the TU Center.

“Between attendance and revenues, [it will be] the best March in the history of the building,” said Belber,  and possibly the biggest month ever.

“Ariana Grande … that will be a sellout,” he said. “She’s the hottest artist on the planet right now as far as pop music goes. 

“Mumford and Sons on Saturday night is going to be sold out. They are still a hot band. The MAAC Tournament, the NCAA Women’s Basketball at the end of the month. Weezer and the Pixies … Fleetwood Mac is going to be sold out. Blake Shelton — he’s not sold out but he will be; it’s getting close, and we have TobyMac, who’s very popular in the Christian world.”

Belber noted that the NCAA Women’s Basketball event brought in about 10,000 fans per session last year, and estimates they will be about 2,000 above that total for each session this year.

“And then you throw in two ‘Sesame Street Live!’ events.”

Elton John’s last Capital Region performance was in 2011 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (his first SPAC appearance was in 1971). He has also appeared previously at the TU Center, including a dueling pianos show with Billy Joel.


March events at the Times Union Center:

March 1: Elton John
March 2: Mumford and Sons
March 7-11: MAAC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships
March 12-13: Sesame Street Live!
March 14: Weezer and Pixies
March 18: Ariana Grande
March 20: Fleetwood Mac
March 23: Blake Shelton
March 27: TobyMac
March 29 & 31: NCAA Women’s Basketball Regionals

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