Madonna has sold 653,000 tickets to the 43 North American dates on her upcoming concert tour, an executive with concert promoter Live Nation Entertainment Inc. said, putting it on track to be one of the top-grossing outings on record.
About 30,000 tickets remain available for the tour’s 36 U.S. shows, Live Nation head of global touring Arthur Fogel said, adding most of those are either single tickets or seats that are set aside for disabled concertgoers.
'We are inches from sellout everywhere,' Mr. Fogel said in a telephone interview Thursday. Tickets for U.S. dates went on sale in mid-February and range in price from around $45 to more than $350. Some premium-priced ticket packages run $600 per person.
The North American leg of the tour is slated to begin Aug. 28 at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center arena and end Nov. 20 with two dates at Miami’s American Airlines Arena. Other stops include Yankee Stadium, Staples Center in Los Angeles and Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Mr. Fogel said that around 30% of ticket buyers had signed up for a free copy of the singer’s most recent album, 'MDNA' - an offer that was available only to customers in the U.S. He said that acceptance rate was on the high end for such offers.
Of the tickets sold in North America, Mr. Fogel said, 500,000 were in the U.S. Those free-album offers fueled a healthy first week for 'MDNA,' according to Nielsen SoundScan, which reported 359,000 copies sold in the U.S. In subsequent weeks, the album’s sales have slowed considerably, and it has now sold a total 456,000 copies in six weeks.
Mr. Fogel said that between 200,000 and 250,000 of those sales represented albums given away with concert tickets.
'MDNA' has not generated a significant hit on pop radio and was No. 65 on the album-sales chart released Wednesday by SoundScan. It has fared better on Billboard’s dance and electronic music char, where it was No. 2 last week. Two songs from the album, 'Gang Bang' and 'Girl Gone Wild,' have charted on the magazine’s electronic-music chart.
Madonna and Live Nation have an unusual 10-year contract that they struck in 2007, under which the promoter guaranteed the pop star $120 million in exchange for rights to a wide range of her business, including promoting her concert tours and releasing her albums. The company contracted out the distribution and promotion of 'MDNA' to Universal Music Group’s Interscope records.
The world tour is to kick off May 31 in Tel Aviv, followed by stops in Abu Dhabi, Istanbul and various European cities. It is scheduled to wrap up with a handful of dates in Latin America late November and December.