‘Demand Answers’ from the New Jersey Conference on Bruce Springsteen and high Ticket Prices for Ticketmaster




		Congratulations from New Jersey

updated: New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr., a longtime critic of the ticket business and Ticketmaster in particular, has issued an official call to action against the Live Nation-owned company’s “dynamic pricing” model, specifically regarding one of the most in New Jersey. famous artists, Bruce Springsteen.

“Today I have demanded answers from Ticketmaster about the monopoly’s role in the Springsteen tour fiasco where fans were charged over $5,000 for seats,” Rep. Pascrell wrote in the caption accompanying the letter posted on Twitter.

The letter is addressed to Michael Rapino, president and CEO of Live Nation Entertainment, and begins by addressing Springsteen’s concert and states his request for transparency: “To help fans better understand the frustratingly opaque process that leads such high prices, I question the truth of the company’s statement, as well as the policies and prices that the company has implemented for this trip.”

Congressman Pascrell asks to see “specific data and any data that supports” Ticketmaster’s statement that “these prices and formats are ‘consistent with industry standards for top artists.'” He also raised other questions, with a deadline of Sept. 30, on How Ticketmaster handled Springsteen and the E Street Band’s 2023 tour: “How many shows will be held at Ticketmaster-owned, operated or exclusively booked venues?” he asks before going on to “How many of those shows are Ticketmaster the principal. ..or…exclusive ticket seller for?” (Presumably referring to venues owned by Live Nation.)

“Does your business tell customers how many tickets will be on sale, what time, and how much they will cost so they can make informed purchases?”

In response, a Ticketmaster representative said later Thursday: “We appreciate and share Congressman Pascrell’s passion for improving the ticket industry and look forward to continuing our dialogue with him.

“In recent years, the ticket resale market has grown into a $10 billion plus industry, and that revenue has been lost to artists and teams of resellers who don’t invest in good event development or the people who works behind the scenes. that is why event organizers have turned to market prices to recoup that lost revenue.”

The company referred readers to Springsteen ticket sales statistics listed in part below and in detail on the company’s website.

Springsteen’s representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Pascrell’s letter.

On the first day of sales for the first concerts of Springsteen’s 2023 tour, tickets were between $4,000 and $5,000 for middle tier seats, and in the four figures for other, less desirable tickets. If they were offered on the secondary market, one would have expected such high bids, but what surprised fans was that they were market price tickets, without intermediaries to increase the price .

For many fans, it was an introduction to Ticketmaster’s “dynamic pricing” program, in which “platinum tickets” – which can be placed anywhere in the stadium, from the front to the back rows – fluctuate in price, as they say. continuous response to demand. The system allows the price of tickets to rise quickly to the level that scalpers believe they would get, keeping that extra money in-house for the artist and promoter.

In response several days later, Ticketmaster – which has drawn heavy criticism from fans for years – released statistics which claimed that the majority of tickets (88.8%) were sold for a flat price of $60-400 before fees. , which was considered reasonable today. market. Ticketmaster statistics showed that only 11.2% of tickets were “platinum tickets”, subject to dynamic pricing. Ticketmaster also said the average price of all tickets sold in the first three days of sale was $262. The service reported that the majority of tickets, 56%, were under $200.

The “platinum” tickets for the tour that went on sale after the controversial opening dates were nowhere near those high prices, suggesting some sort of cap was placed on the system, although representatives said there was not.

Springsteen and Ticketmaster were heavily criticized for their ticket prices and defended themselves under fire. Springsteen’s manager, Jon Landau, spoke to the New York Times, saying “we look carefully at what our peers are doing… We choose prices that are lower than some and on par with others.”

Landau’s statement continues: “Not to mention a fair number of tickets costing $1,000 or more, our actual average ticket price was about $200. I think, in the current environment, that’s a fair price.” one of the best artists of his generation.”

In March, Representative Pascrell also wrote to officials at the Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Justice, urging them to revise federal guidelines to make it easier to cancel mergers. In particular, he cited the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger as “an example of consolidation gone wrong.”

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