SWIFT SLEEPOVER: Thousands of fans visited SoFi Stadium on Aug. 2, one day before the first of six Taylor Swift shows, to purchase merchandise. Many Swifties spent the night to secure a good spot in line. (Oscar Areliz/Staff)


Thousands of fans braved the southern California heat and stood in line outside of SoFi Stadium on Aug. 2 — not to attend a live event. They converged outside the stadium one day before Taylor Swift’s run of six concerts in Inglewood, California, to score merchandise for the biggest event of the year, the pop superstar’s record-breaking “The Eras Tour.”

Fans camped out and many waited for hours to purchase merchandise at trailers set up on-site for what could potentially become the first concert tour to cross the $1 billion mark in gross ticket sales, according to Pollstar, VenuesNow’s sister publication. Tour merch includes tote bags, hair bows, T-shirts and hoodies, running from $25-$70.

Ed Park, who purchased some T-shirts for himself, his two young boys and his wife, was one of the many fans who made the trek to the stadium to avoid having to wait in line the day of the show.

“I have never come a day before [a show] for merch, but you figure the day of the concert is a pain in the butt,” said Park.

Swift wraps up the U.S. leg of her tour Aug. 3-9 at SoFi Stadium, which can accommodate 50,000 concertgoers, and venue staff is ready for the hundreds of thousands who will visit the NFL facility over the next week. Her performances are expected to top figures from K-pop sensation BTS, which grossed $33.3 million over four shows in 2021, and Bad Bunny, whose two concerts in 2022 hauled in $31.5 million.

WEST COAST LOVE: SoFi Stadium welcomes Taylor Swift with a sand figure of the artist shattering records with her “Eras Tour.” (Courtesy venue)

Swift is expected to shatter just about every record at the 3-year-old stadium, and the venue seems to be ready to handle the large crowd. Aware of what is known as “Tayl-gating,” when fans without a ticket stand outside the venue and listen to Swift’s live performance, SoFi Stadium staff sent a release earlier this week advising media and fans that access to the stadium is for ticketed guests only, and that they reserve the right “to confirm that guests have tickets at any time.” No one will be allowed to loiter in or outside the parking lots when Swift takes the stage, and those without a ticket “may be required to leave the property.”

Viral social media posts showed footage of Swifties, a term for the pop star’s devoted fans, swarming the lawn outside Chicago’s Soldier Field in June and singing along to the concert.

At Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 fans hung around outside the building to soak in the atmosphere tied to Swift’s June 16-17 performances in the Steel City.

The July 23 show at Lumen Field in Seattle turned out to be a seismic one, literally. Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, a geology professor at Western Washington University, posted data on social media showing earth-shaking activity equivalent to a 2.3 magnitude quake.

Pollstar estimates the Messina Touring Group-promoted tour grossed more than $300 million in ticket sales for the first 22 concerts with more than 1.1 million sold. During her three shows in Chicago, hotel occupancy spiked to nearly 97 percent, according to city officials.

QuestionPro, an online research group, estimated that Swift’s U.S. shows will generate $5 billion in economic impact.

Park, 47, is one of many Swifts traveling to partake in “The Eras Tour.” He came from Seattle to attend a SoFi Stadium show and has never seen such fervor in the fanbase.

“Not like this,” Park said of the demand for tickets and tour souvenirs. “Not even close, because we’ve been to several concerts. With this one, the more we told ourselves we didn’t need to go because it’s too crazy, the more we wanted to go. She always puts on a good show, and another draw for me is that I’ve never been to SoFi.”

Los Angeles as a whole is celebrating all things Taylor Swift with themed events throughout the city. The Grammy Museum in Downtown L.A. will have a pop-up exhibit called “I Can See You (Taylor’s Version)” through Sept. 18 that immerses visitors into her music video.

Swift’s six shows at SoFi mark the end of an impressive run this year across the U.S. before making her way to Mexico, but she will be back. The artist today announced an additional 15 dates in North America with the concerts taking place in fall 2024. Swift will perform multiple shows at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium, New Orleans’ Caesars Superdome and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. She will also stop at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada, for six shows from Nov. 14-23 next year.