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Claiming the move will help the team fall in line with what other NFL teams are doing, the San Francisco 49ers have increased ticket prices for close to half of the 70,000-plus seats in Candlestick Park for next season, a few by more than three-times the 2009 price. The cost of those tickets, which are for fewer than 100 premium seats, will jump from $71 per ticket to $295, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Some other premium tickets are rising by about 50 percent. The team has shown some promise on the field but largely has been mediocre in recent years, and it has lowered or froze prices for several thousand seats for next season.
In a lengthy Q&A with Billboard's Ray Waddell, StubHub President Chris Tsakalakis offers his thoughts on the recent Ticketmaster/Live Nation merger, artists reselling their own tickets dynamic pricing and speculative ticket resale. Tsakalakis, one of the most influential executives in ticketing, also talks about how he would like to see the companies in the primary and secondary markets begin to work more closely in the future. "All fans care about is getting a ticket to a show. Do they care whether it's primary or secondary? Probably not," he said.
Live Nation Entertainment is hoping to gain local approval for a new, 28,000-square-foot concert venue in Silver Spring, MD, a project that has been years in the making. The Washington Post reports that plans for the 2,000-capacity facility were recently presented to the public, and Live Nation hopes to host its first concerts there in about 18 months, which is considered an expedited pace. In 2008, Live Nation signed a 20-year, $3.26 million lease with municipal officials for the music venue, which is located on a site that once held a J.C. Penney department store but was donated to the county by its previous owners.
The possibility of the New York Knicks landing soon-to-be free agent LeBron James in the off-season is apparently helping to drive up the team's season ticket sales. According to CNBC, the team has already received deposits for more than 1,800 season ticket requests for the 2010-11 season, an amount the team did not reach until the middle of August last year. The team, which has cleared out player salaries the last two seasons to have room under the league's salary cap, hopes to land LeBron and another star free agent, or two other marquee free agents, for next season.
The NFL's long-standing rule about blackouts - where games are blacked out on television in an area if the game is not sold out - is coming under fire from a California politician. Democratic Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña of San Diego will introduce a bill in the state's legislature that reportedly would ban subsidies to the state's NFL teams, for things like new stadiums, if the league continues its blackout policy toward those teams. Last season, several NFL teams had games blacked out, including the Detroit Lions and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The last time the San Diego Chargers had a game blacked out was in 2004, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. The league's blackout policy has been in effect since 1973.
A lot has been written about the four men federally indicted this week for allegedly hacking into Ticketmaster's and other companies' computers to obtain tickets, but now the New York Times is following the lead of attorney Mark Rush in questioning whether Wiseguy Tickets actually committed a crime. In a commentary in the newspaper's "DealBook" section today, March 5, author Peter J. Henning discusses why he has reservations about the government's case, including questions about the alleged wire fraud charges and what harmful "information" the Wiseguys gathered from "protected computer" besides tickets. Rush, who represents defendant Kenneth Lowson, expressed similar concerns with the government's case.
Embattled New York Gov. David Paterson is finding himself embroiled in another potential scandal, this time involving New York Yankees World Series tickets he allegedly obtained without paying for this past fall. The state Commission on Public Integrity said the governor allegedly violated ethics laws by receiving the tickets, and he also allegedly lied when he told officials that he planned to pay for them. The premium tickets, which carried a face value of $425 each, were located in the rows behind home plate and were solicited from team officials.
The Wisconsin state legislature is considering new language to a law that would make it easier to prosecute ticket scalpers who illegally resell tickets near Miller Park where the Milwaukee Brewers play. The city set up a zone outside the park where ticket resale is allowed, but allegedly ambiguous language in state regulations made it difficult to enforce against scalpers who plied their trade outside of the zone. The state Senate is scheduled to consider the amendment today, March 2, and the state Assembly is scheduled to consider it later this week.
Many street scalpers at the Vancouver Olympics made a killing, according to The Province newspaper, because a supposed crackdown on ticket resale never really materialized. In some instances, scalpers were able to buy event tickets the same day and turn them around profit. The Vancouver Olympic Committee, which set up its own online ticket resale site, said this year's Winter Games were going to be the first Olympics to sell out.
Whitney Houston recently launched a six-date tour of Australia, her first live concerts in the country since the late 1980s. However, the acclaimed singer is already facing harsh criticism -- and ticket refund demands -- for her first concert on February 22 at Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Houston received her share of positive reviews from concert-goers and promoter Andrew McManus. But some disappointed fans walked out on the performance with complaints about Houston's voice and exhausted appearance. Those fans are now seeking refunds for their concert tickets, which ranged in price from AU$95 ($85) and AU$195 ($174).