Verizon Center ranks No. 9 nationwide for ticket sales

WASHINGTON — Verizon Center had its best year in three years last year, ranking high both nationally and worldwide for ticket sales and attendance.

Verizon Center ranked No. 9 in ticket sales nationwide and No. 22 worldwide among the top 200 arenas, according to Pollstar. Also, it ranked No. 8 nationwide and No. 13 worldwide for top-grossing venues with a venue of 15,000 or more, according to Billboard.

Monumental Sports & Entertainment says Verizon Center had 2.7 million people attending games, concerts and other events at the arena last year — the highest annual attendance figure since 2013. There were 218 events, including 95 separate events in the first 70 days of last year’s first quarter.

“Several major touring acts hit the road during 2016 providing for another stellar year of ticket sales and events at Verizon Center, ranking us once again amongst the top venues in the country,” said MSE President of Venues David Touhey.

Verizon Center, home to the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards, hosted 29 concerts last year, including sold-out shows for Drake, Paul McCartney, Adele and Bruce Springsteen. The Boss had the venue’s 10th sold-out concert, a Verizon Center record.

The arena, which opened in 1997 as MCI Center and became Verizon Center with Verizon Communications Inc.’s MCI acquisition in 2006, may be in for a name change soon.

Verizon Communications naming rights deal for the arena expires in 2018. Last spring, Monumental Sports & Entertainment hired marketing firm MP & Silva to sell the arena’s naming rights.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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