Japans top selling idol group may have aimed a little too high this year with their 5 Dome Tour. Reports have been rolling in about the abundance of tickets still left available though no exact numbers have been revealed. The nationwide event which will span 11 performances spread between the Fukuoka Dome (Capacity 40,000 per show), Sapporo Dome (Capacity 52,000 per show), Nagoya Dome (Capacity 40,000 per show), Osaka Dome (Capacity 50,000 per show), and the Tokyo Dome (Capacity 48,000 per show) may have been too ambitious.
Last year, the graduation of Atsuko Maeda helped draw nearly 840,000 applications for 144,000 seats over the three-day Tokyo Dome event. This year with the graduation of Mariko Shinoda and Tomomi Itano it seems the management overestimated the draw value of the event.
The venues, which include some of the largest event spaces in their respective prefectures, totals a combined maximum seated capacity of a little over 500,000. With such dizzying numbers, it’s no surprise there’s some difficulty in moving tickets, especially considering the girls already sell much more intimate stage performances daily.
News of a fan offering tickets for free if you contacted her over twitter along with multiple sales rounds from the venues stirred heated debate on whether the idol industry bubble has burst. Industry stakeholders lament that with the graduation of popular members Tomomi Itano and Mariko Shinoda, AKB48 is running out of trump cards, and the final ace will be Yuko Oshima.
It should be noted, however, that selling out the full 500,000 tickets is not small feat. The over abundance of tickets have afforded fans the luxury of being able to choose their arrangement, and to turn down seats in the upper decks. The media and netizens in recent years have taken the sensationalist route, and seem to revel in their ability to take the mundane and spin into the extraordinary.
It’s this reporters opinion that while idols are a business, they just aren’t serious business
Source: 1, 2
There's the Headline Yahoo JP article for netizen comments.