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San Diego Tops Most Expensive Concert Markets

San Diego comes in fourth nationwide and second on the West Coast

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    Jay-Z headlines Viejas Arena on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

    For once, it looks like something is more expensive here at home than in New York City ... But that's not exactly something to brag about.

    According to a Consequence of Sound article published on Oct. 31, New Yorkers "don’t have it quite as bad compared to other markets across the US" when it comes to concert ticket prices. Unfortunately, one of those other markets is San Diego.

    Data from the fare aggregator website Wanderu suggests that San Diego is the fourth most expensive city in the country and the second most expensive on the West Coast when it comes to the average cost of a "top-tier general admission concert ticket." Who comes in first across the board? Los Angeles.

    The disparity is easy to see. For an in-state comparison, tickets for Jay-Z's concert at Viejas Arena start at $29.50, while up north at Sacramento's Golden 1 Center, which ranks 23rd, tickets for the same concert start at $26. That price difference might seem negligible, but it's exaggerated once you get into re-sale tickets, with San Diego tickets starting at $30 and Sacramento Tickets starting at $22 (and more variation across other re-sale platforms, to be sure). 

    However, there are exceptions. You can find re-sale tickets for Lana Del Rey's concert at Valley View Casino Center for $51. For the same concert at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which ranks 27th, tickets start at $54. Meanwhile, there's little more than a buck difference (in San Diego's favor) if you buy straight from the box office ($146.09 vs. $144.56). 

    It's important to note that there are all kinds of things that determine ticket price differences, from seating options to state taxes and more. But where the music industry has hemorrhaged money in music sales, it's clearly tried to stymie the flow with concert revenue. It's just too bad San Diego's on the bad end of it. 

    Rutger Rosenborg was almost a Stanford poet-neuroscientist before he formed Ed Ghost Tucker. Whoops. He now fronts the Lulls, plays lead guitar in LA band Velvet and makes music on his own when he's not writing. Follow his updates on Instagram and Twitter (@RArosenborg), add him on Facebook or contact him directly.