There have been numerous articles about how Grateful Dead tickets have skyrocketed on the secondary market. Looking at the record-breaking demand for Grateful Dead tickets, we had to ask . . . how much did The Grateful Dead leave on the table by not selling their tickets at market value? We decided to find out . . .


The Grateful Dead sold their tickets on TicketMaster according to the following pricing tiers:

Grateful Dead - Face Value Ticket Prices

Each pricing tier corresponds to a level at Soldier Field – $72.05 for the 400s level, $92.47 for the 300s level, and so on until you come to $215.20 for access to the GA PIT in front of the stage. Since this is about how much money Grateful Dead left on the table, we’ll be focusing on the numbers in parentheses ($56.50 for the 400s level, $76.50 for the 300s level, etc.) unless specified otherwise.

By spreading the capacity of Soldier Field (61,500) roughly evenly across the different sections, while giving greater capacity to the large floor sections, and comparing that data to the information from TicketMaster, we can come up with an estimate of what each section was worth at Grateful Dead prices:

Grateful Dead @ Soldier Field - Face Value Ticket Prices

By adding up the value of each section, we can estimate that the Grateful Dead sold out Soldier Field for roughly $6.1 Million per night.

This is well under market value. Figure 1 shows how pricing for each tier exploded on the secondary market after the concerts were sold out:

Grateful Dead Face-Value Ticket Prices vs Market Value Prices

* All primary market data is from www.ticketmaster.com; all secondary market data is from www.tickpick.com.

To determine how much the Grateful Dead was losing per night by not selling their tickets at market value, we looked at the average prices of tickets on the secondary market for each section.

Grateful Dead Ticket Prices - Mapped

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*All data is from www.tickpick.com

We then used the same capacity/section analysis to estimate that the Grateful Dead could have sold out Soldier Field for a whopping $152 Million per night!

Grateful Dead Ticket Prices - Market Value vs. Face Value Prices

Therefore, by our estimates, the Grateful Dead gave up approximately $146 Million per night by not selling their tickets at market value. To put that number in perspective, Celebrity Net Worth estimates that Grateful Dead band member Bob Weir is worth only $30 Million. One night at Soldier Field is worth nearly 5 times that!