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Taylor Swift boosts the US economy with ‘The Eras Tour’

The Federal Reserve says the concerts have sparked a boom in the hotel industry

Taylor Swift performs during 'The Eras Tour,' on May 5, 2023, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.
Taylor Swift performs during 'The Eras Tour,' on May 5, 2023, at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.George Walker IV (AP)
Gabriela López Escalante

Taylor Swift’s latest tour has done more than just line the pockets of the talented 33-year-old American singer. The Eras Tour — her first global tour in five years — is having a remarkable economic impact on each city it visits. So remarkable, in fact, that the U.S. Federal Reserve has taken notice. The latest Beige Book, a report by the 12 U.S. regional central banks that provides a detailed evaluation of the economy, highlights how Swift’s electrifying concerts have injected a surge of tourism revenue in cities like Philadelphia, where her three-hour extravaganza took center stage in May.

According to the Federal Reserve, hotel revenues in Pennsylvania’s largest city reached their highest peak since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Fed attributes the surge to the influx of Taylor Swift fans, known as Swifties. Her three performances at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, each drawing nearly 68,000 spectators, boosted the region’s tourism recovery and produced a mini hotel boom. According to STR and Visit Philadelphia, 95% of the 14,112 downtown hotel rooms were booked, with nightly rates averaging $447. This occupancy level hasn’t been seen in the city since the Memorial Day holiday weekend in May 2019.

The wave of fans wearing glittery cowboy boots has swept into other U.S. cities, turning Taylor Swift into both a cultural and economic phenomenon, as Eras may become the highest-grossing tour in history. When Swift performed in Cincinnati (Ohio) on June 30 and July 1, the surge of Swifties poured over $2.6 million into downtown hotels that reached 98% capacity, while accommodations on the outskirts of the city raked in around $5.3 million. Overall, Swift’s tour generated approximately $90 million for the Cincinnati metropolitan area.

During Taylor Swift’s June concerts at Soldier Field in Chicago, local hotel occupancy rates broke records. The Chicago Tourism Agency reported approximately 44,000 occupied hotel rooms each night (June 2-4), generating $39 million for the hotel industry. Public transportation also experienced a surge, with the highest number of passengers recorded since the pandemic lull. The three nights of concerts led to over 43,000 trips.

Financial analysts have dubbed it the “TSwift Lift” — the spectacular surge in revenue in the cities where the Pennsylvania-born singer takes the stage. Market research firm QuestionPro predicts that Swift’s tour has the potential to inject a whopping $4.6 billion into the U.S. economy.

Taylor Swift, who has won 12 Grammy Awards, earns about $13 million per performance and is projected to generate over $1 billion from her tour. The average ticket price for one of her concerts in the United States is about $254, and can cost up to $1,000 for preferred access. Since all of the over 50 performances in North America have sold out, tickets can fetch much higher prices on secondary markets like StubHub, where some were recently offered for $20,000. On average, each fan spends about $1,300 for tickets, merchandise, hotel lodging and travel.

Some analysts caution against “tour inflation” caused by rising ticket prices for concerts featuring popular artists like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé. Since her last tour in 2018, Swift’s concert tickets have increased by approximately $134. The Eras Tour pre-sales caused widespread online congestion as countless Swifties anxiously tried to buy tickets for one of Taylor Swift’s 131 concerts spanning five continents.

Concert tickets went on sale in Spain on July 12 and 13. After a 10-year absence, the American singer will perform in May 2024 at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Spanish fans didn’t waste any time and bought up all 65,000 tickets in 30 minutes for prices ranging from €85 ($95) to €589 (660) for VIP-1 access.

Stubhub prices for tickets in Europe have reached nearly €8,000 ($9,000) and many Twitter users have started offering their tickets at random prices — €1,500, €3,800. €8,000 — in pop-up auctions where desperate fans have paid up to €18,000 ($20,000) for a ticket.

The Eras Tour will showcase Swift’s musical journey over two decades and feature approximately 44 songs. Not only that, the tour will also give a much-needed boost to local economies lucky enough to host the multimillion-dollar spectacle.

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