Fans of Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen are notorious for selling out shows at even the largest arenas in record time. What can we expect this morning when tickets go on sale for shows in a 940-seat venue?
Springsteen announced earlier this month that he’d be treating his fans to a string of performances more intimate than they’ve seen in decades with a residency at the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway. Appropriately titled “Springsteen on Broadway”, the show will run for eight weeks, with five performances a week, totaling just 40 chances to see Bruce up close and personal in the tri-level theater.
Tickets for all 40 shows go on sale tomorrow at 10 AM through Ticketmaster, and following suit of other popular events like Hamilton, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, etc., tickets will first be made available to only those who passed the test of Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program. Fans interested in the Springsteen Broadway run had to sign up days ago with their name, address, and phone number to be entered for a chance at a presale access code. That chance, according to Ticketmaster VP David Marcus, is dictated by “a bunch of algorithms [applied] to that limited data set” that will “determine if you’re likely to go to the show, or if you’re likely going to sell your ticket”. He went on to assure that, “Verified Fan is not intended to prevent or eliminate resell. What it’s intended to do is made the first distribution of tickets fairer”.
Fairness must be called into question, though, when we consider the next factor that will go into Ticketmaster’s decision on whether or not to give you an opportunity to see the show. “If you are a past Ticketmaster customer who bought Bruce Springsteen tickets, that will be taken into account”.
That’s right- first priority in the race for Verified Fan eligibility to see Springsteen Broadway will be given to those who’ve purchased Springsteen tickets from Ticketmaster before. As far as “fairness” is concerned, it would seem to make more sense to give those who have not yet had the chance to see a Springsteen concert access to a presale code, especially when his shows are known for selling out in minutes and leaving thousands of would-be primary purchasers out of luck.
Apparently, Ticketmaster disagrees. Marcus went on to admit that Ticketmaster “can’t guarantee that every single passionate tickets buyer from the last 40 years is going to be rewarded with a ticket because the supplies are limited. That’s the reality of it”. As usual per the Verified Fan program, entering does not guarantee a code, and a code does not guarantee a ticket.
This presale qualification is not the only controversy surrounding the Springsteen Broadway residency: TicketNews reported earlier this month that industry sources disclosed that as much as 90% of the already limited ticket inventory may be held back from customers by Springsteen, his promoters, and venue affiliates. No word yet on whether New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a known advocate for “ticket fairness” in the past, will take any action on this claim.
Evidently, it may take a small miracle for fans to score tickets from the primary market at onsale time tomorrow. Those who both get “verified” by Ticketmaster, get the access code to the presale, and get through in time to see existing ticket availability can choose from any of the 40 shows at Walter Kerr Theatre taking place between October 3 and November 26. Balcony seats start at $85 per ticket, and climb as high as $850, presumably for seats in the orchestra. The TicketMaster event page describes the show as “a solo acoustic performance written and performed by Bruce Springsteen under the lights of Broadway. It is an intimate night with Bruce, his guitar, a piano, and his stories”.
As far as Ticketmaster’s “verified resale” platform, Marcus reported that, “I don’t believe it’s our plan is at this time to offer resale tickets, but that is an ongoing conversation with Bruce’s team and the theater”.
If you can’t pull off a ticket purchase in the primary to see the Springsteen Broadway run, try the no-fee membership site Ticket Club to shave off a portion of the price on tickets that are sure to be Hamilton-level popular.