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The Taylor Swift Visit Lift

by 
Ezra Carmel
 on 
August 3, 2023
The Taylor Swift Visit Lift

The U.S. leg of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour boasts 53 shows in 20 cities and has already broken multiple records for ticket sales and venue attendance. In an era of financial uncertainty, tourism generated by The Eras Tour has been shown to provide an economic boost to host cities. We dove into the data for some of the stadiums where Swift has performed in order to take a closer look at the concert attendees that are driving foot traffic to venues and local businesses. 

Single Swifties 

While Taylor Swift enjoys widespread appeal among a diverse audience of music lovers, singles are significantly overrepresented at many concert venues on The Eras Tour. 

Trade Area Analysis of the venues using the STI: Popstats dataset indicated that the share of concert attendees from one-person households and non-family households was significantly higher than the nationwide averages for these demographic segments. Many parents have felt the stress of attempting to snag Swift tickets for their younger kids, but the data suggests that adult singles living alone or with roommates are having an outsized showing at The Eras Tour – choosing to spend their own money on tickets. 

Due to the high cost of tickets to the concerts, it could be that families with other financial responsibilities are wary of spending too much on one night out. And because tickets to The Eras Tour are scarce, it’s possible that families that can’t get multiple tickets prefer not to go at all rather than leave some loved ones out of the fun. 

“Taylor-gaters”

For fans without tickets, Tailgating from a parking lot or nearby open space has become a popular way to enjoy The Eras Tour. Many parking lots and concourses surrounding the concert venues have been packed with Swifties taking part in the show’s atmosphere and listening to the performance. 

During the three nights of The Eras Tour at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN, the parking lots and concourses had 32.8% more visitors than were inside the venue. This was also the case for Taylor Swift’s shows at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA, (28.5%), AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX (13.0%), and Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA (23.8%). 

This suggests that cities that embrace tailgating can benefit from an influx of consumers larger than the number of ticketed visitors alone. Increased visitation can have an effect on merchandise sales at the venue and foot traffic to nearby restaurants, hotels, and retailers.

Insight into the demographic characteristics of both concert attendees and tailgating crowds can help communities best serve visiting consumers. As venues and local businesses prepare for the arrival of large numbers of Swifties, it’s worth noting that not all visitors have the same spending power. 

Comparison of visitors to the venues before the concerts – including parking lots and concourses – to visitors inside the stadiums during the shows, revealed the difference in household incomes (HHI) between tailgaters and ticketed fans. The analysis indicated that the median HHI of tailgaters was lower than the median HHI of visitors inside the stadiums. 

This is likely due to the many fans who were priced out of buying tickets that made up the tailgating cohort. Host cities with an understanding of the different ways to engage Swift’s fans can capitalize on the influx of visitors with and without tickets. Lower-income fans might be drawn to Eras-themed events – like paint parties and friendship bracelet pop-ups – that come in at various price points. These events allow for widespread participation and generate revenue for the city and local businesses. 

Taylor Tourism

The revenue generated by The Eras Tour has been recognized as a boon for local economies that could even help stave off a potential recession. Fans have driven hotel occupancy records and increased dining and retail spending in the cities along the tour. Analysis of trade area coverage by distance revealed that concerts for which a large share of visitors came from far away may have the greatest potential to boost tourism spending.

On all three concert nights at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, the largest share of visitors came from between 10 and 30 miles away. But for shows at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, the largest share of visitors came from over 250 miles away. It’s likely that Philadelphia’s relatively close proximity to other big cities like New York, Washington D.C., and Baltimore meant that many concert attendees had shorter distances to travel. 

Diving deeper into the visitation metrics indicated that for the three nights of The Eras Tour in Nashville, TN, approximately 20% of visitors visited a hotel – and over 11% visited a restaurant – before heading to the stadium. A relatively smaller share of hotel and dining visits occurred prior to the concerts in Philadelphia. 

Nashville’s Nissan Stadium may have received a larger share of pre-concert hotel and dining visits due to the long distances visitors traveled, which drove demand for hotel rooms and places to eat. (It’s important to note, however, that the share of visitors who went to a hotel or restaurant before the concert doesn’t include visitors who made another stop on the way to the venue or those who checked into a hotel or grabbed a bite after the show. Therefore, the total share of concert attendees who stayed at hotels and visited restaurants in both cities is likely much higher.)

The Encore

The Eras Tour is a monumental cultural event with an extensive foot traffic impact. In order for concert venues and host cities to maximize the economic boost, a clear understanding of visitors is paramount. So far, Eras Tour attendees are most likely to be singles, and a significant portion of foot traffic at the concerts is from tailgaters who may also enjoy other budget-friendly ways to take part in the excitement of the tour outside of the concert venue itself. 

For more data-driven event insights, visit Placer.ai.

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