Oprah Winfrey is coming to your city. And your city. And your city. And in doing so, she’s about to clean up.
Winfrey is embarking on an eight-city arena tour called “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend,” which is being billed as a real-life reinterpretation of her original Chicago talk show. Each tour stop will last two days, during which Oprah will share her personal success story and interview self-help gurus such as Rob Bell and Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert. Events will take place at huge, 18,000-seat arenas, and ticket prices range from $99 to $999, which means Oprah can expect to make an estimated $1.8 million to $18 million per city. Not all of that money will go directly to her, of course, but she will get a lot of it; the events are a partnership between her Harpo Studios, her O magazine, her OWN cable network, and William Morris Endeavor (WME).
Assuming Winfrey’s fans still buy into the Oprah lifestyle, “The Life You Want” will make her one of the highest-paid public speakers around. She’s already well above Zig Ziglar, the late Christian self-help guru and author of the 1970s book See You at the Top, who was paid $70,000 per speech (adjusted for inflation). In 2008, Malcolm Gladwell was raking in about $80,000 per gig, and in 2010 Politico reported that Sarah Palin’s price tag was $100,000.
Winfrey is already commanding prices as high as Tony Robbins, whose 2012 “Unleash the Power Within” seminar charged 6,000 attendees from $600 to $2,000 to, among other things, walk over burning coals, bringing in an estimated $3.6 million to $12 million. Although, she still has a few people to beat—namely, the Clintons.