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Taylor Swift in Denver: Everything you need to know for tonight's concert

Along with the thousands of fans arriving for the much-anticipated tour, Denver-area businesses are looking forward to a boost in sales that comes with all of the hoopla
Posted: 6:13 AM, Jul 14, 2023
Updated: 2023-07-15 00:29:00-04
Taylor Swift The Eras Tour - Nashville
Taylor Swift sets album pre-sale record
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DENVER — Taylor Swift mania has hit Denver ahead of tonight and Saturday’s concerts at Empower Field at Mile High.

Along with the thousands of fans arriving for the much-anticipated tour, Denver-area businesses are looking forward to a boost in sales that comes with all of the hoopla.

Cities nationwide have already felt the Taylor Swift boost. In Chicago last month, Swift held three concerts which helped the city break an all-time record for weekend hotel room occupancy, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Now it’s Denver’s turn for some of that good fortune. The stadium is ready and businesses are bracing for a big boost.

“What you have to remember is that someone like Taylor Swift is an economy all of her own and she can shape local economies on the basis of the hundreds of thousands of fans she has all in markets across the country.” said Skyler McKinley, AAA regional director of public affairs.

No ticket to Taylor Swift concert? Here’s other things Swifties can do in Denver

Even though the concert is in Denver, that's not stopping other cities in Colorado from trying to cash in on the frenzy.

In Castle Rock on Thursday, hundreds of people stood in line for the chance to win concert tickets.

“People are changing their menus, and like hosting dance parties and craft events,” said Taylor Swift fan Taylor Prado.

Many people told Denver7 if they can't go to the concert, they’re still seeking out Taylor Swift-themed events, parties, and craft nights hosted by other businesses.



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Sydney Isenberg
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The Common Sense Institute estimates the concerts will generate $140 million for the state's gross domestic product.

The estimated 75,000 fans are expected to attend the concerts Friday and Saturday night and that could lead to more than $200 million in direct consumer spending, according to the institute.

You may be wondering: What is the big deal? Why all of the hype? As it turns out, the 33-year-old singer-songwriter is a marketing genius and her Eras Tour is proof of the power of brand evolution over time, creating a new customer pool each time a new album is released that only builds momentum from invested fans.

Taylor Swift mania could bring a $200 million impact to Denver

We asked marketing experts and they said Swift’s strategy of nostalgia, a strong fan base and scarcity all play a role in drumming up this level of attention.

“It's also genius from the marketing perspective, because it's going to be tapping into pretty much all of her customer segments. So if you loved her and her early days, her rebellious days, or country days, or her more recent indie days, there's something for you here,” said Alix Barasch, associate professor of marketing at the CU Boulder Leeds School of Business.

Adding in how Swift interacts with her massive fan base can end up causing a frenzy.

“From a fan engagement perspective, she's very, very good at connecting through social media, and providing almost a gamification to her engagement,” said Melissa Archpru Akaka, professor of marketing at University of Denver Daniels College of Business. "I think the art that she creates through her music, and by writing her own songs, and using them to really reflect how she feels and how she experiences life, I think, speaks to that level of authenticity that sometimes, not all artists are able to capture, because maybe they don't spend as much time sort of just kind of revealing the layers of complexity of life."

Taylor Swift takes over Denver. Everything you need to know

Going to the concert? Here's what you need to know

First, be sure you are weather-prepared, just in case. Denver7 morning meteorologist Lisa Hidalgo says there is a slight chance of a shower or storm, particularly around the start of the show. Hidalgo said you should expect a 20% chance for thunderstorms if you're going to be at Empower Field Friday. For Saturday's concert, there's a slightly better chance of showers.

Check out her full forecast below.

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Thinking of driving to Empower Field at Mile High?

You must purchase parking passes in advance as there won’t be any on-site sales happening.

Empower Field officials said Thursday tailgating will be allowed prior to the show for fans with parking passes, but “in an effort to streamline entry and egress” for all concertgoers, fans without tickets are “strongly encouraged from gathering in the parking lots and outside the stadium.”

Because parking at Empower Field is expected to be at capacity, those driving or carpooling to the show were encouraged to also find parking at Ball Arena, the Denver Aquarium, Riverside Church and the Auraria Campus in case stadium parking fills up.

Concertgoers and other drivers alike should be prepared for heavy traffic on I-25, as well as on major thoroughfares like Colfax and Federal, said Denver7 Traffic Expert Jayson Luber.

If you’re driving, and trying to save a little money by parking on a street near the stadium, be sure to pay attention to signage. Denver’s Department of Transportation & Infrastructure on Thursday sent out a reminder that it actively monitors parking restrictions during large events like this one. Violators can expect to be ticketed and possibly even towed.

Expect a slow exit from stadium parking lots, too. There have been reports of hours-long waits in traffic lines following Swift shows in other cities.

Traffic advice if you’re headed to the Taylor Swift concert in Denver

Swift’s "Eras Tour" in and of itself is enough for a traffic nightmare – the Cincinnati Reds moved the start time of their Swift-night game last month to ease the flow of traffic – but it’s not the only major event in the Mile High City this weekend.

The Colorado Rockies – maybe not a traffic-snarling attraction all by themselves – host the New York Yankees for a three-game series Friday through Sunday at Coors Field. The Yankees bring fans everywhere they go, leading MLB in average road attendance this season.

KOOZA by Cirque du Soleil is also taking place at Ball Arena, and thousands of veterinarians will be in town for the American Veterinary Medical Association annual conference at the Colorado Convention Center.

But the traffic won’t be limited to I-25 and the downtown area. C-470 will be busier than normal with the final Mile High Nationals event at Bandimere Speedway. The String Cheese Incident also has a show at Red Rocks Friday night.

If you’re taking public transportation, plan your trip way ahead in advance

Let’s say you’re not taking your own car or carpooling with others to go see Taylor Swift – how are you going to get there?

The rideshare pickup and drop off area is located south of the stadium on Eastbound Howard Place, directly adjacent to the Decatur-Federal RTD Light Rail Station and Parking Lot M, but “due to the volume of events in Denver this weekend” (there’s three Rockies games and two Cirque du Soleil shows that we mentioned a few paragraphs above), Empower Field officials encourage concert-goers to plan their trips well in advance before leaving home and the stadium after the shows and “anticipate longer expected arrival and departure times.”

Good news, though: Rideshare pickup vehicles will now be able to access the stadium’s pickup location from either Northbound or Southbound Federal Blvd, officials said in a news release. Those vehicles will queue along eastbound Howard Place and will be directed southward after making a pickup, where they’ll be able to quickly access I-25 and Downtown Denver via 8th Ave., Colfax Ave. via the Federal and Colfax Cloverleaf Interchange, or 6th Ave. via southbound Federal Blvd.

Those taking RTD light rail will find connections to the C, E and W rail line stops. Those taking the light rail won’t have to pay a fare due to the district’s zero fare program, which runs through the end of the summer.

Fainting fans and $8 water: A look inside the Taylor Swift merch line

If you're worried about catching the trains too late, here's a list of the last departure times from Union Station and other downtown Denver stations:

Friday, July 14:

  • A Line – 1 a.m. 
  • B Line – 12:30 a.m.
  • G Line – 12:30 a.m.
  • D Line – 1:48 a.m.
  • E Line – 1:45 a.m.
  • H Line – 1:54 a.m.
  • N Line – 10:56 p.m.
  • W Line – 1:33 a.m.

Saturday, July 15:

  •  A Line – 1 a.m.
  •  B Line – 12:30 a.m.
  •  G Line – 12:30 a.m.
  •  D Line – 1:46 a.m.
  •  E Line – 1:45 a.m.
  •  H Line – 1:54 a.m.
  •  N Line – 11:26 p.m.
  •  W Line – 1:33 a.m.

Don't forget to download RTD’s Next Ride smartphone appl or use the trip planning tool from RTD's website and simply type “Taylor Swift” in the destination field to find how to get to and from there.

Have friends flying in from out-of-state?

DIA is forecasting high volumes of passengers through TSA checkpoints this weekend for people traveling from out-of-state to see Taylor Swift. As such, they say advise people flying in (or flying out) to:

  • Be prepared for a high volume of travelers and arrive in the airport a MINIMUM of two hours before your flight’s boarding time.  
  • Keep an eye on the weather and check your flight status regularly. 
  • Monitor parking availability and security wait times at 
  • Ditch the car and take the RTD A Line. RTD is offering Zero Fare during July and August.

Leave your cash at home

Folks, seriously: Don't bring cash. It's germ-y, it occupies space you may need, and it could get stolen. Besides, even if you bring some, you won't be able to buy anything with it as Empower Field is a cashless venue and you will have to pay for stuff through Apple Pay or credit cards.

For Swifties carrying cash, reverse ATMs will be available on-site for crash-to-card conversion.

On Swift Eve, the Eras Tour stage is nearly complete at Empower Field

Don't bring these items to the venue or they’ll be confiscated

The NFL’s clear bag policy is in place for all events at Empower Field, but the following items are prohibited:

  • No professional cameras including any camera with a detachable lens
  • No professional cameras or commercial cameras/photography equipment (includes any camera with an extendable or detachable lens)
  • No signs larger than 11" by 17"
  • No lights of any kind (including on clothing)
  • Clear bags may not contain graphics, stickers, writing, or other decorations on more than one side of the bag
  • No backpacks of any kind including clear backpacks
  • No stainless steel water bottles (e.g. Hydro flasks)
  • No professional video or audio recording equipment

Your friendship bracelets and portable charges will be allowed though, so not all is lost. For more information on the NFL’s clear bag policy, head here.

Doors for Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour concert open at 4:30 p.m. The show starts two hours later.

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