Taylor Swift has sung that she’s the problem – but if the problem is what to do with boatloads of cash that she brings in for local economies, then it’s one Toronto is likely to welcome.
On Thursday, the acclaimed U.S. singer-songwriter announced she will be performing six shows in Canada’s largest city at the Rogers Centre next year as part of her Eras Tour – a show that has been attracting attention not only for the earthquakes it causes, but the seismic amount of money it brings in.
Fans are excited for Swift’s arrival in the city, and businesses should be as well, said music industry expert Eric Alper.
“On average, each Taylor Swift fan going to a show so far in 2023 has spent US$1,300 not just on tickets, but hotels, merchandise, food, alcohol, drinks, gas, parking,” he told Global News.
“There’s a lot of money to be made off of a Taylor Swift tour.”
Swift’s boost to economies is ‘historic’
Swift’s tour has had a major impact on American economies, according to two reports.
The first is from the U.S. Federal Reserve, which found that May was the strongest month for hotel revenue in Philadelphia since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, in large part due to an influx of guests for the Swift’s concerts in the city.
Swift performed three shows in Philadelphia.
The second is from the Common Sense Institute – a U.S. think tank that promotes Colorado’s economy – that found that Swift’s two shows in July led to a US$140-million boost to the state’s GDP for the year.
At the end of the day, Swift’s U.S tour could generate US$4.6 billion in total consumer spending, larger than the GDP of 35 countries, the report, dubbed “Swiftonomics: Eras Tour Impact on Colorado,” found.
At 22 shows in, the tour has grossed an estimated US$300 million for an average of US$13.6 million per show, it added.
“We’re going to see here in Toronto, estimated, somewhere in the neighbourhood of $60-to-$75 million of those dates in the city. 55,000 people spending $1,300 dollars U.S. That’s a lot of money that is going to be spent in the city,” Alper said.
“That’s not even counting the amount of tourist dollars that are going to be here. This is historic.”
Businesses should be staffing up to handle the influx of people, said Daniel Tsai, a business lecturer at the University of Toronto.
The hospitality sector – restaurants, hotels and other services – will get a big boost during November, a time that is typically a low season for the industry, Tsai said.
“This is when you’re going to get an unexpected huge boost in your sales, especially if you’re in the downtown area near the Rogers Centre,” he said.
“There’s a huge opportunity here and vendors, businesses have to just be ready for it.”
Tsai added Swift’s tour may have an impact on economies outside of Toronto.
“In terms of GDP, this is a huge shot in the arm for the country. There may also be some downward effects for other cities. People come to Toronto and then they decide, let’s go to Montreal. It’s not too far away. It’s a totally different experience with the French language and culture there,” he said.
“There may be some other real great impacts, as well as tourism maybe in the Niagara region. We have a whole bunch of opportunities here to really show to the world how great the city is and this country is by all the other regions getting attention from Taylor Swift coming here.”
Much hype around Swift coming to Canada
When Swift snubbed Canada when she announced 14 tour dates last month, thousands of disappointed Canadians were disappointed, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau replied to her July announcement with a message on Twitter referencing a few of Swift’s songs, including Cruel Summer.
“It’s me, hi. I know places in Canada would love to have you. So, don’t make it another cruel summer. We hope to see you soon.”
Swift’s snub even reached the House of Commons, with a Conservative MP saying he would file an “official grievance within Parliament on behalf of all Swifties” in the country.
Swift last performed in Canada in 2018. She will be at the Rogers Centre from Nov. 14 to 16, 2024 and then Nov. 21 to 23.
Fab can register online on Ticketmaster’s website to help get seats for all six shows. Due to the heavy traffic, there was a line to even register as a verified fan Thursday.
Ticketmaster said tickets will go on sale for those who registered next Wednesday to Friday. RBC said Thursday it partnered with Swift so that members of its Avion Rewards program could have access to an exclusive allocation of tickets.
The U.S. leg has already had sell-out shows with fans triggering a 2.3-magnitude earthquake in Seattle last month.
It cannot be said for certain whether the seismic activity was caused by soundwaves generated from bass, subwoofers, jumping fans or a combination of factors.
Canadians have shown they are willing to travel to see Swift and other attractions. The border crossings in British Columbia were extremely busy last month ahead of her concerts in Seattle, which also coincided with a Blue Jays-Mariners series.
When Swift comes to Canada, organizers should use the opportunity to tie in tourist events related to her shows, and perhaps showcase cultural events, parts of Toronto and the region as well, Tsai said.
“Imagine the benefits of having Taylor Swift roaming the streets or visiting some of our notable Canadian sites like Niagara Falls or Casa Loma. That will just make it iconic to see her enjoying Canada,” he said.
“The cost of the tickets is going to be immense, so for many people this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a huge cultural phenomenon such as Taylor Swift. They are going to be coming here prepared to spend. Get ready. Be prepared. Roll out the red carpet, make these people happy and the country will be proud by these efforts.”
— with files from Global News’ Saba Aziz
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