Price for tickets to Bruce Springsteen’s 2023 tour left many fans furious, shocked and disappointed in summer when tickets went on sale. But they were not alone suffering from the surged numbers. A fan with a disability found himself in a situation being left without an option but to consider overstraining his capacity to buy accessible seats at New Jersey’s Prudential Center more than $1,845.
The New Jerseyan Springsteen fan Ed Heaton, who drives a motorized scooter, needed wheelchair accessible seating to attend the concert. According to his statement to nj.com, he tried to get a pre-sale verification code but failed. It was like a bad joke to see only one pair of wheelchair accessible seats at the venue was posted by a reseller and priced at $1,845 per ticket when the pre-sale ended.
The skyrocketing prices that saw more than $4,300 apiece for Springsteen’s 2023 tour aside, Heaton wondered who would have purchased the tickets in the first place. “Were they purchased by disabled patrons who suddenly discovered they could not attend after all? The likelihood is low.”
He wrote an email to State Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, D-Middlesex and U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-9th Dist., who called out Ticketmaster owner Live Nation’s “greedy ticket monopoly” in a scathing press release issued in the wake of widespread negative coverage in the summer spawned by the ticket prices being charged by the band.
“Don’t both Ticketmaster and Prudential Center have some legal responsibility here to ensure that accessible seats are sold to the clientele for which they are intended?” asked Heaton in his email, inquiring if their sales system could be changed so that those who were disabled have at least some chance of obtaining the seats which were mandated by federal law.
Although a representative tried to get answers from Ticketmaster, no responses were received.
Sky-high ticket prices partly caused by “dynamic” and “platinum” ticket pricing systems of Ticketmaster has been a matter of debate for the concerts and tours by popular names whose tickets are selling like hot cakes. Dynamic pricing leads constantly adjusting prices to move, mostly upwards only, according to demand. So, in the case of The Boss’ 2023 tour, some tickets were going for as much as $5,000, with many seats well above $1K each.
As Live Nation always points out, pricing shows at below the maximum market price does leave opportunity for people to buy tickets strictly for the purpose of reselling them.
However, the current pricing strategy leads the artists to charge what amounts to the “scalper” price for the entire audience, and a truly extortionate price for a small percentage of seats when “platinum” prices are involved.
“Promoters and artist representatives set pricing strategy and price range parameters on all tickets, including dynamic and fixed price points,” a Ticketmaster spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. “When there are far more people who want to attend an event than there are tickets available, prices go up.”
“It would be a lot easier for a major artist like Springsteen to have clauses in his contract that determine how disability seating should be sold,” Heaton said.
Event promoter John Scher states he’s never seen concert-goers wrongly take advantage of accessible seating, but he understands the complaints about “a lack of control.”
“In the end, it’s up to the artist to set the terms when they negotiate sales agreements with Ticketmaster,” says Scher, president of Metropolitan Entertainment Consultants.
According to the same report, Ticketmaster said accessible tickets for the Springsteen show ranged in price from $59.50 to $399.50. No primary ticket, meaning ones sold by Ticketmaster and not on by scalpers through its site, sold for more than $399.50, it said. It means that the $1,845 seats Heaton came across were on the secondary market sold by people who reposted their seats on the Ticketmaster site, whose “market priced” system allowed prices to fluctuate based on demand. And holders of accessible seats can sell them to anyone, not just those who need them.
Rep. Pascrell who has long sought to bring reform to the ticketing world, calling regularly for the Live Nation/Ticketmaster giant at the center of the industry to be broken up by federal regulators said the issue of accessible seating should be looked at more closely.
“If buyers not requiring these accessible tickets are scooping them up to put on the secondary market, we need to address that,” he told NJ Advance Media. “And if accessible seats are only available through a reseller, that is a major problem too.”
In March, Pascrell asked the FTC and DOJ to overturn the approval of the merger that brought the promotional and ticketing giants together back in 2010. He is the principal sponsor of the BOSS Act – an acronym for “Better Online/Secondary Sales” – which he says he hopes to see reintroduced in Congress this year.
Coming to Heaton’s situation, The Prudential Center will offer him tickets with accessible seating at face value, a representative for Springsteen’s touring team said, upon NJ Advance Media’s taking the issue to Springsteen’s team. The Pru Center confirmed it is working with Springsteen’s people to make it happen.
Heaton said he was grateful for his personal outcome, but he says more should be done to help others in his position. “The process should not be made so difficult by Ticketmaster and the venues to obtain disability seating,” he concluded.
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Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band Tour Dates – 2023
North America – Leg 1
Feb. 1 – Tampa, FL | Amalie Arena
Feb. 3 – Atlanta, GA | State Farm Arena
Feb. 5 – Orlando, FL | Amway Center
Feb. 7 – Hollywood, FL | Hard Rock Live
Feb. 10 – Dallas, TX | American Airlines Center
Feb. 14 – Houston, TX | Toyota Center
Feb. 16 – Austin, TX | Moody Center
Feb. 18 – Kansas City, MO | T-Mobile Center
Feb. 21 – Tulsa, OK | BOK Center)
Feb. 25 – Portland, OR | Moda Center
Feb. 27 – Seattle, WA | Climate Pledge Arena
Mar. 2 – Denver, CO | Ball Arena
Mar. 5 – St. Paul, MN | Xcel Energy Center
Mar. 7 – Milwaukee, WI | Fiserv Forum
Mar. 9 – Columbus, OH | Nationwide Arena
Mar. 12 – Uncasville, CT | Mohegan Sun
Mar. 14 – Albany, NY | MVP Arena
Mar. 16 – Philadelphia, PA | Wells Fargo Center
Mar. 18 – State College, PA | Bryce Jordan Center
Mar. 20 – Boston, MA | TD Garden
Mar. 23 – Buffalo, NY | KeyBank Center
Mar. 25 – Greensboro, NC | Greensboro Coliseum
Mar. 27 – Washington, D.C. | Capital One Arena
Mar. 29 – Detroit, MI | Little Caesars Arena
Apr. 1 – New York, NY | Madison Square Garden
Apr. 3 – Brooklyn, NY | Barclays Center
Apr. 5 – Cleveland, OH | Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse
Apr. 7 – Baltimore, MD | Baltimore Arena
Apr. 9 – Belmont Park, NY | UBS Arena
Apr. 11 – Belmont Park, NY | UBS Arena
Apr. 14 – Newark, NJ | Prudential Center
Europe and the UK
April 28, 2023 – Barcelona, Spain | Estadi Olímpic
April 30, 2023 – Barcelona, Spain | Estadi Olímpic
May 5, 2023 – Dublin, Ireland | RDS Arena
May 7, 2023 – Dublin, Ireland | RDS Arena
May 9, 2023 – Dublin, Ireland | RDS Arena
May 13, 2023 – Paris, France | La Défense Arena
May 15, 2023 – Paris, France | La Défense Arena
May 18, 2023 – Ferrara, Italy | Parco Urbano G. Bassani
May 21, 2023 – Rome, Italy | Circo Massimo
May 25, 2023 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Johan Cruijff Arena
May 27, 2023 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands | Johan Cruijff Arena
May 30 – Edinburgh | BT Murrayfield Stadium
June 11, 2023 – Landgraaf, The Netherlands | Megaland
June 13, 2023 – Zurich, Switzerland | Stadion Letzigrund
June 16 – Birmingham | Villa Park
June 18, 2023 – Werchter, Belgium | Festivalpark Werchter
June 21, 2023 – Düsseldorf, Germany | Merkur Spiel Arena
June 24, 2023 – Gothenburg, Sweden | Ullevi
June 26, 2023 – Gothenburg, Sweden | Ullevi
June 28, 2023 – Gothenburg, Sweden | Ullevi
June 30, 2023 – Oslo, Norway | Voldsløkka
July 2, 2023 – Oslo, Norway | Voldsløkka
July 6 – London | BST Hyde Park
July 8 – London | BST Hyde Park
July 11, 2023 – Copenhagen, Denmark | Parken
July 13, 2023 – Copenhagen, Denmark | Parken
July 15, 2023 – Hamburg, Germany | Volksparkstadion
July 18, 2023 – Vienna, Austria | Ernst Happel Stadion
July 21, 2023 – Hockenheim, Germany | Hockenheimring
July 23, 2023 – Munich, Germany | Olympiastadion
July 25, 2023 – Monza, Italy | Prato della Gerascia, Autodromo di Monza
Last Updated on October 13, 2022