By Alfred Branch, Jr.
In a move that could be considered an admission of acceptance, Live Nation and eBay have teamed up to auction tickets for July 5th Police show at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
The extent of the partnership is unknown, but the arrangement marks the first time that the two sides have worked together so closely, though it appears that this is the only show bringing the two sides together. Visitors to the eBay tickets Web site are greeted on the front page with a clickable ad for the Police auction, which takes people directly to the Live Nation auction site. Live Nation carries an “enabled by eBay technology” logo in the top right corner. The eBay logo had been removed from the Live Nation auction site for a while on Wednesday but was placed back on it by the afternoon.
Greg Bettinelli, director of eBay Tickets, confirmed that Live Nation was using eBay technology for the Wrigley show auction, but he declined to comment further. Ticketmaster did not return a message for comment by press time. John Vlautin, spokesman for Live Nation, said he was unaware of his company and eBay working together but that he would check into it. Ticketmaster is auctioning off tickets to Police shows, also, but its auction site does not carry any references to Live Nation.
At first blush it would appear that Live Nation is circumventing Ticketmaster, which is the primary seller of Police tickets. But, Wrigley Field is one of the few venues not aligned with Ticketmaster, so the arrangement could be looked at as Live Nation and eBay trying each other out to see how the shoe fits, so to speak. Whether this could lead to more auctions between the two is unknown but if the pair continues to work together, it could take a big bite out of Ticketmaster’s fledgling auction business.
Russ Lindmark, president of the National Association of Ticket Brokers, said he was not surprised by the arrangement between the two competitors. “I would rather these two get together than either one of them hook up with Ticketmaster,” Lindmark said.
As more states repeal their anti-scalping regulations and make ticket reselling legal, the number of and the revenue generated by secondary market auctions are sure to increase, which has prompted most major ticket sellers and resellers to launch auction sites in recent months.