The office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman confirmed last week that an investigation was ongoing into the sale of tickets for Paul McCartney’s shows in the state, including Saturday’s concert at Syracuse’s Carrier Dome.
A spokesperson for the AG’s office told NewYorkUpstate.com that it had received four complaints regarding the music legend’s concerts in New York, two specific to the Carrier Dome. The investigation has been open for four months, but the spokesperson declined to expand on whether or not any malfeasance has been detected as of yet.
Tickets for the Syracuse concert were available to members of McCartney’s fan Club and American Express cardholders days in advance of the regular sale. Additional presale tickets were allocated to Syracuse University and SYNY-ESF students, as well as alumni, faculty, and premium donors. The access codes for these presales were publicly posted by Syracuse.com before the general on sale.
Predictably, between the wide presale distribution and the standard practice of venue and artist holdbacks, there was little left for the general on sale. Complaints of tickets being sold out within minutes and available on secondary websites at substantial markups triggered the AG’s office to investigate. In late June, tickets were still available on the primary market, but in VIP or “platinum” areas of the arena only.
Syracuse University and Carrier Dome staff did not respond to multiple requests for comment regarding the numbers held back for their specific presales and/or to be given away to high-level officials, faculty, or major donors. An investigation of New York ticket resale licenses by TicketNews at the time found that there were zero ticket brokers licensed in Syracuse or surrounding Onondaga County.
As often happens, a large number of held-back seats were released just before the concert, noted by Syracuse.com the week before the performance.
We await the official conclusion of the investigation for additional details – whether or not any illegal “bot” purchasing activity was detected, or if any penalties are brought down upon promoter or venue officials found to have scalped held-back seats themselves without a license to do so in the state.
At the very least, it seems those who took in the shows got their money’s worth. Syracuse.com ran a story documenting many who drove several hundred miles to see the Liverpudlian perform.