The Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia, the subject of a bankruptcy case, is being allowed to break its ticketing contract with Ticketmaster for one that is allegedly more venue-friendly through Ticketfly.
The bankruptcy court ruling last week was based, in part, on the “burdensome” terms of the Ticketmaster contract, which the “Troc” spelled out in recent court filings. Ticketmaster allegedly changed the terms of the contract in 2008 by adding a couple of new levels of fees, and the Troc claimed the move depressed its ticket sales through Ticketmaster, and thus hurt their revenues.
Terms of the new contract with Ticketfly, which takes effect immediately, were not disclosed, but the new contract would have only been approved if the terms were considered more favorable for the Troc. Ticketfly CEO Andrew Dreskin did not return a message seeking comment.
Whether the Troc considered several ticketing companies before settling on Ticketfly is unknown, but the contract is a boon to the up-and-coming ticketing solutions provider. The company is not only replacing Ticketmaster, but gaining a foothold. The Troc is a popular venue in Philadelphia for indie and alternative music.
Ticketmaster had originally charged fees of between $3 and $6.50, but increased the top-end fees to $7.50 or $8.50, depending on the price of the ticket, according to court filings. The Troc received a percentage of those fees back, but fans slowly moved away from buying tickets through Ticketmaster and would buy tickets through the box office, where the fees were not charged.
In 2008, the venue grossed $2.3 million, but in 2009 that amount dropped to $2.1 million. The theatre’s 2010 revenues were not disclosed. Joon Associates Inc., owners of the Troc, said its liabilities could be upwards of $500,000, which led to the bankruptcy filing.
“Subsequent to executing the Amendment, the [Troc] has experienced a decrease in the sale of Tickets through the [Ticketmaster] System due to the increase in the Convenience Charge,” according to the federal filing. “Rather than ordering Tickets through the [Ticketmaster] System, customers purchased Tickets to the Attractions in person at the Facility Box Office to avoid the prohibitive Convenience Charge. The effect on the [Troc] of the increase in the Convenience Charge has resulted in a reduction in the Royalties that it receives due to a decrease in the number of Tickets sold through the [Ticketmaster] System.”