Friday, June 18, 2010

'American Idol' Season 9 tour looks like a bust

With less than two weeks to go until the July 1 kickoff of this season's 'American Idols Live' tour, reports are filtering in that ticket sales are extremely slow - so slow, in fact, that Live Nation has been offering special package deals for the shows. In addition, there have been several "Ryan Special" days where seats are being sold for $20 or so plus handling charges.

This is unprecedented and indicates to most 'Idol' watchers that sales for this season's show are even more anemic than those for Season 6's tour, which was the biggest flop to date. I checked availability at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York, which is the closest venue to where I live. If I were willing to fork over $85.50, I could still get a floor seat (Row U, seat 6) for the show (see chart). Earlier this week, I checked the same venue and the same seat was available. In past years, the only seats available this close to the start of the tour were in nosebleed heaven! What's interesting is that the "Ryan Special" seats were in Section 204. Clearly, this venue is far from being sold out and the production company is desperate to fill it. What next? Free seats?

None of this surprises me. This season's Top 10 failed to ignite much excitement, and obviously, there are a lot of people who are choosing to skip this summer's tour. I probably would have gone to the show had it come to Syracuse, but certainly not for $85.50.

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