Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour is a massive cultural force – and an economic one, too. As her concert tour travels across five continents with 151 scheduled shows, the American singer-songwriter sensation delivers a boost to the local economies she visits. This “Swift Lift” extends even to the NFL. After Swift went public with her relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce in 2023, he gained some 2.5 million social media followers, helping to add to the excitement of the upcoming Superbowl.

On the heels of her record-breaking fourth Grammy Award for album of the year, more than any other artist in Grammys history, Swift's concert tour will extend its global reach by kicking off its Asian and European runs. As locals and tourists flock to cities from Tokyo to Amsterdam, the whole world should be paying attention, looking at the experience in the US as a guide.

Introducing “Eventful Economy: Impact Uncovered”

This is the first of a new research series, “Eventful Economy: Impact Uncovered,” where we will regularly review the economic impact of meaningful events in the world. We’ll look at the impact of concerts and sporting events but also unplanned disruptions such as climate shocks. We use a variety of methodologies, including “synthetic controls,” where we create a “counterfactual” for the path of the economy as if the event did not occur (see last section for further explanation). In this report, we dub the incremental boost to sales attributable to The Eras Tour through this type of analysis as “The Swift Lift.” The timeliness and high frequency nature of Mastercard’s aggregated and anonymized data and indices like SpendingPulse uniquely position us to conduct this research. Event analysis is at the core of Mastercard's Data & Services business with the Test & Learn platform available to design and analyze new business ideas that could "shock" the current business model.

...Ready for it?

The Eras Tour visited 20 US cities in 2023. We examined the incremental boost in sales to local businesses in the immediate vicinity of the stadium (within 2.5 miles) up to the surrounding 10-mile radius. Whether they were ready or not, the boost in spending at restaurants and accommodations during the days of the tour was clear and consistent.

  • Spending growth at restaurants was lifted by an average of 68% per day over the duration of the tour in the immediate vicinity of the stadium (2.5-mile radius) while the average boost to the broader area (10 mile radius) was 7%. It appears that the boost to spending at restaurants owes in large part to concert goers splurging at the stadium and local restaurants – indeed, examining spending by hour, the largest gain for restaurants was the hours leading up to and during the concert.
  • Accommodations (hotels) is different in that the Swift Lift is more geographically diversified. Spending growth at accommodations was raised by 47% in the immediate vicinity of the stadium and up a similar 32% for the 10-mile radius.
  • It helps to put this spending boost into perspective. Take one of the smaller cities, Kansas City, MO, for example, where the spending on restaurants over the two days of the Eras tour accounted for nearly two weeks of spending in a “normal” period at restaurants near Arrowhead Stadium.

Of course, there is also likely a broader Swift Lift which may even start well before the concert. Consider, for example:

  • Local shops sourcing Swift-inspired outfits and memorabilia
  • Hotels increasing prices because of the concentration of visitors
  • Jobs that need to be created to accommodate the wave of concertgoers and fans
  • The publicity for the local venue hosting the Eras tour. Glendale, Arizona, where Taylor launched her tour, was officially renamed “Swift City” for two days. And the Mayor of Glendale quickly grabbed the title of “Mayor Swiftie” on social media.

Glendale, AZ Restaurants-Bars: Swift Lift @ State Farm Stadium
Tap on the timeline above