LOS ANGELES — Concert tours by the Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand and country duo Tim McGraw and Faith Hill were among the top-grossing tours in North America in 2006, helping drive ticket revenue to a record $3.6 billion, according to figures released Thursday by Pollstar, the industry trade magazine.
The figures represent a 16 percent increase over 2005, when North American concert ticket sales totaled $3.1 billion, said Gary Bongiovanni, Pollstar’s editor-in-chief.
Concert receipts for the top 100 tours of the year totaled $2.33 billion, up 12.6 percent from last year.
“Not only did we set a record for gross revenues, but we did it by selling more tickets rather than more expensive tickets,” Bongiovanni said.
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Fans purchased 37.9 million tickets to the top 100 concert tours, compared with 36.3 million in 2005, according to Pollstar.
The average ticket price paid to attend a show on those tours was $61.45, up 8 percent over last year’s average of $56.88, Bongiovanni said.
The average ticket price increase, which amounts to $4.57, was similar to the increase seen between 2004 and 2005.
“That’s a good sign for the business,” Bongiovanni said.
The Rolling Stones’ “A Bigger Bang” tour, which actually began in the fall of 2005, led all other concert tours this year with $138.5 million in gross receipts, Pollstar said. The average Stones ticket was $136.63. The tour sold about 1.01 million tickets.
Streisand’s tour ranked second, generating $92.5 million in gross sales, with the average ticket price at $298.36.
The tour by McGraw and Hill brought $88.8 million in gross receipts, with the average ticket selling for $80.92.
Country crooner Kenny Chesney’s tour led all others in the number of tickets sold with 1.13 million. His tour pulled in $66 million in gross receipts, with the average ticket going for $58.34.
Not all the tours that pulled in hefty gross ticket sales were put on by individual touring artists. The Cirque Du Soleil “Delirium” tour generated $82.1 million, while Trans-Siberian Orchestra earned $37.3 million. Another extravaganza, the “American Idols Live” tour, pulled in $35 million.
Among the other acts that ended the year in the top 25 by sales receipts were Coldplay, The Who, Dave Matthews Band, Shakira and Bon Jovi.
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