Metallica’s hard-rocking extravaganza and Barbra Streisand’s ballad-filled “Encore” show were the top events in NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum’s busy, eclectic first three months following its $165 million renovation, according to box office sales records obtained by Newsday.
For the only non-stadium show of its current tour, Metallica drew a crowd of 14,081 for its May 17 concert, more than any other show in the Coliseum’s opening two months. Because of the band’s stage setup in the round and allowing standing general admission on the floor, it came closest to the arena’s 14,500 capacity.
Billy Joel’s grand reopening show on April 5 saw 14,039 patrons, since his rotating piano stage allows for fans to be seated behind him. Marc Anthony, whose April 9 show featured a more traditional stage setup, had 11,169 in attendance to come in third.
Oddly, it wasn’t the final show in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’ 146-year history that had the biggest crowd at the Coliseum, but the opening show of its run, when 8,265 were in attendance. (Both the circus and Monster Jam aren’t able to sell as many tickets as concerts because the entire floor is needed for all the action.)
As far as the top-grossing event, Streisand’s May 4 show, her first Long Island concert since 1963, was the leader by far, grossing $3.1 million.
According to Billboard, Nassau Coliseum’s opening months were so strong, it was the top-grossing arena with a capacity between 10,000 and 15,000 in the United States for the first half of 2017 even though it did not open until April 5.
Brett Yormark, chief executive of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of Nassau Events Center, which operates the arena, said in a statement the new facility “will continue striving to deliver the content that Long Island has long deserved and reintroducing world-class artists to the venue.”
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The Coliseum ticket information comes from records obtained by Newsday from Nassau County via Freedom of Information Law requests. Nassau Events Center, which operates the county-owned arena, submits monthly ticket sales reports to Nassau.
With Jim Baumbach