Promoters stoked for Streisand

With the news that Barbra Streisand is considering taking her act on the road for the first time in more than two decades (Daily Variety, Jan. 3), concert promoters nationwide are clamoring to land the singer for their venue.

And with good reason. A limited date tour could gross more than $ 100 million , with Streisand pocketing slightly more than $ 60 million for a tour that is expected to run less than three months.

Promoters have been making overtures to Streisand’s manager Marty Erlichman, he says, “for the past three years” with calls coming more frequently following the singer’s appearances at fundraisers or the Presidential Inauguration last year. But the announcement of the Las Vegasshows sparked a new round of intense interest and bidding.

That latest round may actually see deals get made, with Streisand opening her first show perhaps as early as late summer, depending on her film commitments. “It would have to be this year,” Erlichman said, but he would not elaborate on how many dates she would perform or which cities other than New York she is considering.

“It’s all being discussed. I expect we’ll have something to say about it in the middle of the month,” Erlichman said.

While the tour would be booked through Streisand’s agency CAA, local promoters have been calling her agents hoping to land a date or two at their venue. Promoters say a Streisand tour could survive on the demand for years, and at top ticket prices.

“She could play for years, and still not be able to perform for every fan that wants to hear her,” said one Midwest promoter who hasbeen vying for a date at his arena.

But many expect she’ll do just a limited run, testing the waters in New York first, before taking the show on the road. “She is one of the biggest, if not the biggest act in the world,” said John Scher, veteran concert promoter whose Metropolitan Concerts banner promotes shows in the Northeast. “Her limits — ticket price, dates, venue size — are all whatever she wants them to be. She could get any price she wants.”

Sources say a Streisand tour is likely to take shape as a limited run, 60 or so dates, with multiple dates in key markets, such as New York and Los Angeles. The show would keep the Las Vegas style, with 15,000-seat average arenas being the venue of choice.

While earlier tours may have landed at smaller venues in an attempt to keep the shows intimate, Streisand proved she could pull off a larger venue show by wowing audiences in Vegas over the New Year’s weekend at MGM Grand’s 15,000-plus seat Grand Garden.

Promoters note that the intimacy of her show could be duplicated in larger halls thanks to the development of audio and video technology.

Sources say the face ticket price for a Streisand concert would typically run around $ 125, but promoters note that she could also offer a “golden circle” ticket price, perhaps $ 250 for the first 10 rows, and scale the house back to prices as low as $ 65 for the nosebleed seats.

At least 1 million fans would cross through the turnstiles, even on a scaled-back schedule.

“Her take could easily come to over $ 60 million on a limited run,” said a veteran concert promoter. “It would depend on the production expenses, but a conservative estimate would see the tour grossing over $ 100 million for a three-month tour, with 50 cities and 60 shows.” An artist of Streisand’s stature would command around 40% of the gross.

Streisand’s cut of revenues would have little difficulty beating the gross amounts of the top tours of 1993. The Grateful Dead, for example, grossed $ 45.6 million playing 81 shows. The band’s cut is estimated at around $ 18 million.

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