Billy Joel and Elton John are coming in nine days to Conseco Fieldhouse, where any seat closer than the balcony is priced at $197, reported Indystar.com in a pithy examination on February 23, 2003.
And despite that astronomical admission fee, fans are willing to pay. Sales are brisk, with 13,000 tickets already reserved.
Nationally, concert ticket prices have risen 80.3 percent since 1996. By comparison, the consumer price index has risen 14.6 percent.
Among the 100 top-grossing tours in 2002, the average admission price was $46.56, according to Pollstar magazine. Seven years ago, the figure was $25.81.
"As an industry, we've been steadily raising the price of the concert experience at the same time that the economy is going in the other direction," says Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni.
The biggest names in music sold more tickets last year (35.1 million) than they did in 2001 (34.4 million).
Paul McCartney attracted more than 15,000 fans to Conseco Fieldhouse in October, even with premium seats being sold for $252.
When country band Alabama takes its farewell tour this summer, it will shatter McCartney's mark. One hundred tickets -- packaged with a souvenir guitar and a meet-and-greet session with the musicians -- will be sold for $1,000 each.
Why do tickets cost so much?
For promoters, expenses include venue rental, advertising, production, catering and -- the largest expense -- the headliner's guaranteed payment. Ticket prices rise proportionately.
Throughout the industry, performers sign off on ticket prices before accepting a concert date.
"Ultimately, if the artists were concerned about ticket prices being a certain amount, they have 100 percent of the authority to dictate that," Bongiovanni said.Elton at Hampton Court Palace Festival - Tuesday, March 4 2003 at 06:55:14You're So Static: Elton money stays £215m, survey - Sunday, March 2 2003 at 09:50:44Cold as Christmas as Elton & Billy take San Antonio - Friday, February 28 2003 at 22:25:00The Rocketman and Piano Man take off in Houston - Thursday, February 27 2003 at 06:45:44FAN REPORT: Tabernacle Connection - Sunday, February 23 2003 at 16:03:55Two At 33 - Elton and Billy US Tour opens - Sunday, February 23 2003 at 15:07:55Special night at the Tabernacle - Wednesday, February 19 2003 at 07:19:48