As Ticketmaster Entertainment and New York Sen. Charles Schumer both complain about the evils of secondary ticket market, a little known fact has emerged: Two of the bigger tours of the year are experiencing plummeting ticket prices on the secondary market, creating bargain conditions for fans.
Bruce Springsteen tickets for several of his recent and upcoming shows are selling for far less on the secondary market – including tickets to see The Boss Wednesday night, April 22, in Boston, MA – than what tickets are selling for at face value. The same can be said for tickets to see The Dead.
“Both [tours have been] bombs,” one East Coast ticket broker told TicketNews. “The Dead [has been] a complete stiff, Springsteen [only] slightly better, but below box office [prices] in a lot of cities.”
Earlier this month, Sen. Schumer, with guidance from representatives of Ticketmaster Entertainment, announced he was drafting a bill that would delay the resale of tickets until two days after they had gone on sale to the general public. The reasoning behind the proposed legislation was to give fans a chance to buy tickets first before ticket brokers, who are also going to be required to register with the Federal Trade Commission as part of the proposal.
As part of its strategy to gain approval for its proposed merger with Live Nation, Ticketmaster has come out against the secondary market in recent months, and the company settled a complaint with New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram over the way it handled Springsteen ticket sales. Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff has even said that he would consider selling the company’s secondary ticket company, TicketsNow, which it acquired for $265 million last year.
While there are countless stories of tickets being priced well above face value on the secondary market for some events, as is often the case, tickets can cost considerably less at resale, as brokers and fans seek to unload extra seats.
In Springsteen’s case, tickets for Wednesday night’s show were still available at the Loge Level on Ticketmaster’s Web site this afternoon, April 21, for $95 each, not including another $14.40 in charges (See the first screen shot below). On the Web site operated by TicketNetwork, parent company of TicketNews, similar Loge Level seats were selling for less than $75, without the same fees.
Floor tickets to see The Dead in Wilkes-Barre, PA tomorrow night, April 22, were selling on TicketNetwork for $63, see screen shot here, but those same seats were selling on
Ticketmaster for $95 (see the second screen shot below). Ticketmaster’s convenience fees add another $11.40 to the total.
For both tours, tickets were selling on the secondary market for considerably less than original face values for dates throughout the country.
Several factors are at play as to why both tours are experiencing soft sales at the secondary market. Both bands have toured in recent years, so many fans may have already seen them; the overall economy remains sluggish so prices have dropped as sellers become desperate to unload tickets; and there were a glut of tickets on the secondary market because too many resellers believed they could cash in.
“I couldn’t get rid of my handful of seats for one of Springsteen’s Los Angeles shows, even at below face value,” one New Jersey based ticket broker told TicketNews. “They’re ranting that we’re the most evil thing out there, but that’s just not the case.”