A Nickelback show costs around $230,000 to produce, according to UEG, about average for a touring group. A seat goes for about $61, a fraction of Gaga’s prices. At that price, venues usually sell out. The group averages about 11,000 fans a stop: That’s $671,000 a show. According to UEG, ticket sales for about 80 shows in North America and Europe should gross about $53 million in 2012.
In Noblesville, two sales tents are packed throughout the night. Stand operator Brittany Baker, 22, says some of Nickelback’s logo-adorned offerings, such as $10 beer cozies and $40 T-shirts, are standard for most groups that roll through. They’ve also got $4 collectible cups, a $30 set of drum sticks, and $20 red panties with “Rockstar” on them. UEG confirms that one stand alone can take in about $100,000 for the night. That could add up to as much as $200,000 per venue or an additional $16 million over the course of the tour.
I’m not the sort of person who shows disdain for musical acts that I don’t like (listen to whatever you want! Life is too short to be embarrassed about something that is pleasing to you). Nickelback’s music is not for me, but I find their ability to make tons of money while being one of the most hated bands in the world awe-inspiring. (“Right now it’s become trendy to hate Nickelback, and no one even knows why,” tour manager Kevin Zaruk says.) I don’t know why either—somebody (lots of somebodies!) are buying those $40 T-shirts.