Coldplay's multi-million dollar gig just the start for Auckland

Coldplay: show will bring $4m in economic benefits
Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto concert poster
Jennah Wootten

British rock band Coldplay is big business – and this weekend that business is coming to Auckland.

Nearly $4 million in economic benefits, to be exact, attracting thousands of people to the region, most of whom have tickets to tonight’s Mylo Xyloto concert at Mt Smart Stadium.

Auckland Council’s events marketing arm, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), has calculated the region is in for a $3.7 million economic boost, while it will add 25,000 extra visitor nights to the bottom line – the figure also includes concert-goers staying with friends and family.

The rock band, which is nearly into its 17th year, is estimated to be worth up to $US450 million, according to various fan sites around the world.

Lead singer Chris Martin is estimated to be worth $US60 million.

It was Mr Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland who formed the band in 1996 at University College London. The band was initially named Pectoralz and when bassist Guy Berryman joined the group shortly after it was renamed Starfish. Percussionist Will Champion also joined them.

Mr Martin takes 40% of the band’s profits and the remaining 60% is split three ways.

Settled on Coldplay in 1998

It was not until 1998, when they settled on the name Coldplay, that it started having some success, releasing the EPs Safety and then Brothers and Sisters, floowed by Blue Room a year later.

They only produced 500 copies of Safety, the majority of which went to producers and friends. By contrast, a year later 5000 copies of Blue Room were sold to the public.

Coldplay’s first studio album, Parachutes, was release in 2000 and debuted at No 1 on the British albums chart.

The band’s live performances have similarly been a success, selling out quickly and garnering Coldplay worldwide recognition for the music and its stage show.

Just last year, tickets to its Mylo Xyloto concerts in Glasgow, Manchester and London took just seconds to be snapped up. Many later turned up on eBay for four to five times the face value.

Tickets have been sold with equal pace to next weekend’s concert in Sydney – and a second show was quickly announced.

Tonight’s Mt Smart gig has not sold quite that quickly, with a handful of tickets still available.

However, assuming the stage is set for a capacity concert crowd of 47,000, the Mylo Xyloto tour could provide promoters with a conservative gross return of $4.7 million, based on the general admission fee of $100.

On watch for appropriate events

Concerts and events are no small business for Auckland Council, with ATEED and Regional Facilities Auckland constantly on the alert for international tours and events that can be hosted in the city.

ATEED acting general manager of destination Jennah Wootten says the $3.7 million economic injection from the Coldpay concert includes the money which is introduced into Auckland and is retained as a direct result of the event.

“It covers spend on commercial accommodation, rental cars, food and beverage, along with the new money the concert generates through the build, the labour and so on, less any dollars that will leave the economy in terms of earnings by the band and promoter,” she told NBR ONLINE.

Net visitor expenditure alone is projected to total $3.29 million.

This is the first time ATEED has been involved in a sponsorship such as this and the economic development agency has high hopes for the future.

“By 2021, our target is to bring $80 million per annum of new money into the Auckland economy, as a direct result of bringing major events to Auckland.”

A study carried out in 2008 for the then Auckland City Council, measuring the economic contribution of events in the city, showed at least $479 million of consumption in the local economy could be directly attributed to events held in the region.

That included:

  • $138 million spent by event organisers on local goods and services required to deliver events in Auckland.
  • $80 million of discretionary consumption at events in addition to mandatory expenses such as ticket purchases. This included discretionary expenditure on food and beverage at the event, merchandise, and any other consumption within the confines of the event. It expressly excluded consumption before or after the event such as transport, dining out and entertainment.
  • $75 million of pre and post-event consumption by Auckland residents. This included expenditure on activities for which events are the main catalyst such as transport to/from the event, parking, dining out, and pre/post event entertainment.

Ms Wootten says Regional Facilities Auckland has a dedicated team which will continue to work to secure the international events, to align with the region’s targets and mayor Len Brown’s vision to “be the world’s most liveable city”.

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Is ateed the promoter of the coldplay event?£

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Shame Auckland can't host these gigs at the half decent venue. Gave Mt Smart one more chance and nothing has changed, still a third world facility. Better to buy a cheap airfare and go to Aussie to see these gigs, at stadiums disigned to enhance the experience.

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And what about the tidy little arrangement where Council requires a substantial Traffic Management plan, which just about closed down all the roads in Penrose for the evening.
This plan requires the services of professional Traffic Management companies, which will be receiving substantial fees from the Promoters, which in turn pass on to the punters in ticket prices.
And is there fee payable to the Council to approve the Traffic Management plan? I suspect so.
It would be interesting to see how deep is the relationship between Council interests and the Traffic Management companies. Kickbacks? Collusion? Graft? Or just the usual big brother approach where the Council feels it cannot allow its citizens to exercise sufficient juedgement to be able to cross the road safely.

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