Ticket prices for Bill and Hillary Clinton’s 13-stop paid speaking tour that kicked off in Canada last week have been cut in half, with some going for less than 10 percent or their original price.
As twice-failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton eyes another run for the White House in 2020, she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, are finding that they are becoming as increasingly unpopular in Canada as they are in the United States.
Failing to draw the crowds they anticipated in America’s liberal neighbor north of the border, the former first lady and her husband’s “An Evening with the Clintons” have seen the going rate for their tickets plummet on Groupon from $70 to $35.
In fact, huge vacated sections of arenas hosting the Clinton tour throughout Canada resembled empty patches in NFL stadiums after football fans got fed up with the league’s tolerance of players’ anti-American grandstanding of kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police.
The fall from popularity of the once-magnetic couple -- especially since Hillary’s lackluster 2016 presidential campaign –has been witnessed not only through dirt cheap prices, but through gaping holes in seats, as half-filled stadiums became the norm – rather than the exception – in Canada’s largest cities.
“There were empty seats both in upper level seats and on the ground floor – where tickets were pricier,” the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail reported. “One ticket was going for $6.55 in the final minutes before the Toronto event.”
Desperate times call for desperate measures
To keep their events from looking like private meetings, the Clintons have had to resort to letting ticket prices drop to clearance prices so that at least some seats are filled.
“Ticket prices were plummeting shortly before the event, with the cheapest seats selling on Stubhub for single-digits – $6.55 Canadian dollars, or less than $5 (U.S.),” the Daily Mail announced. “Now, the couple are taking drastic action to avoid another embarrassment on the next stop on their ‘An Evening With the Clintons’ tour. They have slashed tickets by up to 60 percent – and even offered them on Groupon to try and entice more fans to come and listen to them speak.”
Even after using high-pressure sales strategies to get rid of the tickets – including trying to scare Clinton fans that seats will be gone if they don’t immediately purchase them – the Clintons still found it extremely difficult to fill seats.
“They were struggling to get people to their shows, so they were selling tickets for as low as $6.55 before the show began,” Townhall informed. “Their new marketing plow – more like last ditch effort – at getting people to attend their event is by selling tickets on Groupon. Tickets on the Clintons' website go between $89 and $399, but, if you're looking for a real steal, Groupon has them for $35.”
The first Clinton event that was held at a Canadian hockey area – which houses nearly 20,000 seats – saw a mere 3,300 tickets sold, and more seat backs than Clinton fans were visible when the lights dimmed and the couple started talking.
As unpopular in the U.S. as in Canada?
With the tour currently taking a break for the holidays before it picks up again in New York City, New York, next year on April 11, other major U.S. cities will host the Clintons’ road show, including Los Angeles, California; Washington, D.C.; Las Vegas, Nevada and; Boston, Massachusetts, but it appears that their cold Canadian reception will follow them to liberal strongholds in their home country – where one would expect them to have huge followings.
“For their May 19 show at The Forum in Inglewood, California, – which seats more than 17,000 – tickets usually priced at $77 are now going for $35, with $120 tickets discounted to $50, and $175 seats down to $72,” the U.K. daily informed. “Despite the site telling customers that 'tickets are selling fast!' with 'limited time remaining,' it appears that less than 450 discounted tickets have actually been sold.”
Feeling sorry for the Clintons …
Even liberal columnists believe that the dismal sales signify an early end for once-popular couple.
“My thoughts are racing darkly … I’m feeling something foreign – something I’ve never felt before – [and] it takes me a moment to identify it … I’m feeling sorry for the Clintons,” New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote in her piece titled “Curtains for the Clintons.” “In the 27 years I’ve covered Bill and Hillary, I’ve experienced a range of emotions – they’ve dazzled me, and they’ve disgusted me, [b]ut now, they’re mystifying me.”
She noticed that a venue of the National Hockey League (NHL) could not mask the Clinton’s unpopularity north of the border.
“I’m looking around Scotiabank Arena – the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs – and it’s a depressing sight,” Dowd expressed. “It’s two-for-the-price-of-one in half the arena. The hockey rink is half curtained off, but even with that, organizers are scrambling at the last minute to cordon off more sections behind thick black curtains, they say due to a lack of sales. I paid $177 weeks in advance – I passed on the pricey meet-and-greet option. On the day of the event, some unsold tickets are slashed to single digits.”
Efforts to hide Toronto’s cold reception of the Clintons were witnessed by organizers attempting to make the event more snug and cozy by snipping seats here and closing off sections there.
“In Toronto, organizers blocked off the upper deck of seats,” the Daily Mail noted. “Officials said the Clintons sold about 3,300 seats in a venue that can hold about 19,000 for a big hockey game when the Maple Leafs play. About 1,000 people bought closer seats on the floor. There were empty seats in lower level seats and on the ground floor, where tickets were pricier. An entire bank of seats on the floor – where tickets that were being sold for $111 on an official ticketing site – remained empty during the event.”
Dowd shared her embarrassment for the couple’s fall from fame and glory.
“I'm still looking at large swaths of empty seats – and I cringe at the thought that the Clintons will look out and see that, too,” Dowd continued. “It was only four years ago, after all, that Canadians were clamoring to buy tickets to see the woman who seemed headed for history.”
The Clintons’ lack of ingenuity in putting together their latest tour was also noted.
“I can't fathom why the Clintons would make like aging rock stars and go on a tour of Canada and the U.S. at a moment when Democrats are hoping to break the stranglehold of their cloistered, superannuated leadership and exult in a mosaic of exciting new faces,” she continued. “What is the point? It's not inspirational. It's not for charity. They're not raising awareness about a cause – like Al Gore with global warming. They're only raising awareness about the Clintons.”
This fall from fame and lack of funds from the tour – also evidenced through the modest stage setup – contrasted from the millions of dollars the couple took in between the turn of the century and last presidential election.
“The Clinton's took heat during Hillary's 2016 campaign for their $153 million in paid speeches dating back to 2001 –drawing fire from Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and in media reports,” the Daily Mail recounted. “But those events were bankrolled by major corporations – not individual donors who are ponying up to see the famous pair together on stage.”