Eagles' Sphere strategy: high prices, high expectations

John Katsilometes, Las Vegas Review-Journal on

Published in Entertainment News

LAS VEGAS — Much to the chagrin of Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, Eagles tickets at the Sphere are on sale.

Unlike The Dude, we love the Eagles. Just hold the White Russians.

That, and other thoughts:

— Ticket prices are steep, about $430 up to $5,700 apiece for the Sept. 20 opener; and about $300-$5,600 for the Nov. 9 closing night. The lofty prices run counter to industry trends, where acts have cut prices to foster sales, notably Pearl Jam slashing ticket prices to its June 29 show at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium by 50%. And The Black Keys just wiped out an entire arena tour for soft sales. The Sphere is set up to run counter to such market fluctuation, as the venue itself is such a groovy live-entertainment experience. But ticket brokers who operate in Vegas are watching the Eagles’ sales with great interest.

— The shows are not an instant sellout. A few hours after opening Friday, several tickets remained for all 12 dates, there was a lot of “blue” on the Ticketmaster seating maps, representing tickets unsold. But there is even more “red,” for tickets purchased — then swiftly offered for sale through Ticketmaster’s Verified Resale protocol. Individual ticket-buyers have figured out they, too, can play broker.

— That said, the presale registration sign-ups on Ticketmaster were strong enough that the band announced a four-show extension even before Friday’s public on-sale. That is a rather rare move, triggered by the band and promoter Live Nation’s confidence all shows will eventually at least brush up against full capacity.


— Ticketmaster is employing the all-in pricing for the shows, same as with Dead & Company. That means a ticket listed at $413.22 includes all fees. No added costs at checkout. However, live-entertainment tax is still tacked on, nine percent for each ticket. But all-in pricing addresses one of ticket-buyers’ more intense complaints, that they are hit with a tide of extra fees when they go to purchase.

— This is the first of the venue’s residency shows to offer seats on the floor. We mean actual chairs. U2, Phish and Dead & Company have opened the floor section to standing GA (and, sometimes, sprawling GA). Eagles fans, we reckon, want the option of standing for “Life In The Fast Lane” and sitting for a spell to take in the guitar solo in “Hotel California.”

— Don’t expect background singers for the Sphere run. This is a bummer for Las Vegas entertainment supporters. Jazz great Michelle Johnson’s Desert Angels Choir backed the band, gloriously, at its most recent show at MGM Grand Garden in May 2022. No word yet on the Sin City Strings, which also played that show.

— No Phish for Halloween. There was a thought, my own, Phish would return with one of its soaring Halloween-themed performances this year. The band committed ample ingenuity and resources in its four-show run in April. But the Eagles’ added dates (Nov. 1-2 and 8-9) have snuffed out that speculation.

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