Some elements of the Rolling Stones’ visit to Ralph Wilson Stadium on Saturday night may surprise people – especially in the number of fans expected, when they will start arriving, the availability of tickets and the going rate for seats.
Crowd size: While the stadium has a listed capacity of 71,857 for football, about 20,000 of those seats will not be available. Even though there are added seats on the stadium floor, the location of the stage at the stadium’s tunnel end apparently knocks out sections 115 to 130 and comparable sections in the upper levels.
“We’re expecting somewhere around 51,000 people, which is basically sold out,” Orchard Park Police Chief Mark F. Pacholec said Monday.
Multiple-day event: While stadium parking lots will open at 4 p.m. Saturday, four hours before the listed concert time, camper lots will open at noon Friday. So authorities are bracing for a large, early influx of die-hard Stones fans, many probably unfamiliar with the area.
Almost sold out: A quick check Monday on Ticketmaster.com, the original box-office venue, showed no pairs of tickets available in the cheapest price levels, originally on sale for $88.30 and $118.85 (including tax) per ticket. Limited numbers of seats seemed available in the $170.35 and $420.15 price ranges.
Front-row seats: While the Rolling Stones may belt out their signature “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” that’s not exactly true of the best seats in the house. They’re available, on the secondary market – for a ridiculous price, of course.
As an example, StubHub.com on Monday listed about a dozen pairs of tickets in the front row in front of the stage. The asking price ranged from $1,405 to $9,947, and that’s per ticket. The nation’s largest secondary ticket seller had more than 100 tickets available at an asking price of more than $1,000 apiece.
Other tickets: Late Monday, StubHub listed a total of 2,984 tickets available for Saturday’s concert.
Demand for tickets lukewarm: This is tricky, but most resold tickets appear to be pricing moderately, but not ridiculously, above the original box-office price at ticketmaster.com.
For example, in Section 105, in the far corner from the stage at the scoreboard end of the stadium, StubHub listed 22 tickets for sale Monday. Those seats initially cost $170.35 apiece (including sales tax) through ticketmaster.com. The asking price for those 22 tickets on Monday ranged from $168 to $263 apiece.
Timing: The concert time is listed at 8 p.m. Saturday, but who knows what time Mick Jagger and his pals will strut on stage, after St. Paul and the Broken Bones warm up the crowd?
Turnstiles: Bills security officials couldn’t be reached for comment Monday, but fans are expected to have to abide by the same rules in effect at Bills games, outlawing, among other things, purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, backpacks, fanny packs and most seat cushions. Binoculars, small clutch bags and small, clear plastic bags are permitted.
Parking: Similar to a Bills game, concertgoers may park in the stadium lots or individuals’ private sites.
Roads: Again similar to Bills games, a section of Abbott Road, directly outside the stadium, will be closed starting at 3 p.m. Saturday. And westbound Big Tree Road will be closed after the game.
Traffic density: No one knows for sure, but there will be more fans unfamiliar with the stadium’s surroundings than at a Bills game.
“I think the traffic will be a little bit lighter,” Pacholec said. “We’re anticipating dealing with 20,000 or so less people, and I think the die-hard Rolling Stones fans will be here earlier.”