How Daddy Yankee Pumps ‘Gasolina’ into Central America’s Economies

The Puerto Rican singer’s world tour touches down in five countries in the region, and which has brought a boost to tourism and spending

Daddy Yankee will play concerts in five Central American countries
November 09, 2022 | 04:59 PM

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San Pedro Sula, Honduras — La Última Vuelta World Tour, with which Puerto Rican singer Daddy Yankee is marking his retirement after more than three decades on the music scene, has arrived in Central America.

Of the 89 dates planned for the world tour, eight are in five countries of the region, with one more in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. On Tuesday, the 46-year-old star performed in front of more than 37,000 people at the Metropolitan Olympic Stadium in San Pedro Sula, the so-called industrial capital of Honduras.

The so-called king of reggaeton will perform on November 10 at the National Stadium Chelato Uclés, in Tegucigalpa, which has a capacity for 34,000 people. In both cities, as has been the case in San José, Costa Rica, and in Guatemala City and San Salvador, the concerts have brought a boost to the economy.

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In San Pedro Sula, representatives of the municipal mayor’s office estimate that the economic benefit of the concert was around $10.1 million, equivalent to 250 million lempiras in local currency. This amount includes the earnings of small and medium-sized businesses with merchandise allusive to the event, as well as the hospitality industry, transportation and travel.

“This year seven major concerts have been held in San Pedro Sula and each one of them has left revenues from the rental of the stadiums (the Olímpico Metropolitano and the Francisco Morazán) of $120,000 for the municipality, well above the profits left by the national soccer League games,” said Josué Cover, media director at San Pedro Sula’s mayor’s office.

An incentive for businesses

From Tegucigalpa, industrial engineer Dayana Bonilla, with her personalized articles business Inbo HN, has taken advantage of the big concerts of the year, such as those of Karol G, Daddy Yankee and Bad Bunny, the latter scheduled for November 29 in San Pedro Sula, to take orders through social networks from people who want printed T-shirts of their favorite artists.

Dayana Bonilla, in Tegucigalpa, sells merchandise allusive to visiting artists.dfd

“The public is motivated by Daddy Yankee, he is the maximum exponent of urban music, a registered trademark, a worldwide success. Customers are buying products online and expectations are high,” Bonilla said.

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In El Salvador, show producer Mario Villacorta, director of the Two Shows company, recalled that during the Covid-19 pandemic, entrepreneurs in the sector decided to invest in studios to produce online concerts.

“It was organized by Marc Anthony, Nodal, Ricardo Arjona, Alejandro Fernández, but it was not profitable or the same. We did it rather to stay alive, with the hope of not dying during the show,” he said.

For Villacorta, now in the context of ‘the new normality’, the public is excited for big events. One example was Daddy Yankee’s concert, which sold around 20,200 tickets in the Cuscatlán Stadium.

In Guatemala, local businessman Alfredo Méndez said that musical events are important for the informal economy with the sale of T-shirts, caps and souvenirs related to the artist. Drinking water, carbonated and alcoholic beverages are also sold outside the concert.

“The organizer of the musical event benefits from the sale of food and beverages inside the venue, but, generally the prices are high,” said Guatemalan Andrea González, who attended one of the concerts.

Where was the most expensive ticket sold?

In Central America, tickets for the ‘Gasolina’ singer’s concerts varied from one market to another. According to box office prices, in El Salvador, the cheapest tickets cost $40 and the ultra platinum area $185. In Costa Rica, the cheapest tickets were $25 and the most expensive $250.

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Guatemalans gathered at the Explanada Cayalá, located in zone 16, paid around $59 for bleachers and $270 for reserved tables. On the other hand, Hondurans got their tickets for $43 and in the BAC Credomatic experience for about $287.

In the Dominican Republic, where Daddy Yankee will perform on November 12, tickets in the east and west bleachers are around $46 and in the ‘special guest’ area up to $460. Panamanians, who will enjoy the concert on November 19, have paid from $30 for the cheapest seats to $125 for the most expensive ones.

A lucrative tour

With La Última Vuelta World Tour, the Puerto Rican is in third position in terms of tour revenues, selling an average of 30,764 tickets per concert, according to the specialized magazine Pollstar.

British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran’s Divide Tour is in first place, averaging 59,860 tickets each night, and who is the first male solo artist to achieve that feat. This year, he continues to lead the list with his current European tour called “Mathematics”.

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Just below the Brit, in second place, is Bad Bunny, with more than 45,437 tickets sold per concert.

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A few weeks ago, Bad Bunny also made headlines for surpassing any other Latino artist that has performed in the United States, grossing a total of $232.5 million, according to Billboard Boxscore, with his current World’s Hottest Tour, which will bring him to five Central American countries in the last week of November.

-- With additional reporting by Natiana Gándara