How Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour Generated Millions For Allegheny County
Five weeks after Taylor Swift took over Pittsburgh with her record-breaking tour, city officials are discovering the far-reaching benefits that the event, and its attendees, had on the local economy.
Swifties generated $46 million in direct spending in Pittsburgh when Taylor Swift brought The Eras Tour to Acrisure Stadium, according to a recent VisitPITTSBURGH press release.
The record-setting crowds, which totaled about 150,000 between the two sold-out concert dates on June 16 and 17, raised average hotel occupancy in Allegheny County to 95% — the highest weekend occupancy the county has experienced post pandemic and the second-highest weekend occupancy on record.
The large number of hotel guests was due in part to the high proportion of fans who traveled from out of town to see Swift’s career-spanning show. According to VisitPITTSBURGH, 83% of the fans who purchased tickets live outside Allegheny County, with the largest groups of Swifties coming from Ohio, New York and other Pennsylvania counties. But KDKA-TV found attendees from as far away as Canada and North Carolina, and WTAE reporters even spoke to a fan who drove 13 hours from Jacksonville, Florida, to experience The Eras Tour in the Steel City.
Out-of-town visitors, many of whom were exploring Pittsburgh for the first time, spent an estimated $42.9 million on hotels, restaurants, transportation and attractions. Allegheny County fans contributed an additional $3.07 million for their own concert experiences, and visitors and residents combined generated about $3 million in state and local sales tax revenue.
Jimmie Sacco, Steelers vice president of Stadium Operations and Management, said in the press release that large-scale entertainment experiences like The Eras Tour are vital to the city because they fuel the local economy.
“This is just one event of many that we are welcoming to Acrisure Stadium this summer and beyond, and we are proud to be a part of an economic engine that benefits the region’s small businesses and residents,” he said.
The local hospitality community welcomed Swifties and built “Swiftsburgh” — officially named by Mayor Ed Gainey on the weekend of the concerts to honor the singer — by offering themed meals, drinks and events to fans from near and far.
VisitPITTSBURGH President and CEO Jerad Bachar said in the press release that it takes a city-wide effort to support Pittsburgh’s events-driven tourism industry.
“From the outstanding experience provided by Acrisure Stadium and the City of Pittsburgh’s public safety and public works teams to the quality and capabilities of our restaurants, hotels and other cultural and entertainment attractions, the Taylor Swift weekend confirms Pittsburgh’s reputation as a world-class host and destination,” Bachar said.
The statistics on Swift’s local impact come days after national news regarding the star developed. After the debut of “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” on July 7 at No. 1, Swift became the woman with the most No. 1 albums in history. The newest addition to Swift’s series of rerecorded albums became her 12th No. 1 album, pushing her past Barbra Streisand’s previous record.
The Eras Tour has placed Swift’s entire catalog in the spotlight; this week, in addition to “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” the artist has three other albums in the Top 10 of the Billboard charts, including the 2022 “Midnights,” 2020 “Folklore” and 2019 “Lover.” Swift is the first artist to have four albums in the Top 10 while living since Herb Alpert in 1966.