Concert Tickets Sales Rigged Against Fans Report Says
Had a hard time getting a ticket to a concert or sporting event? New York's attorney general says that's probably because more than half of tickets to many events are held for industry insiders or otherwise unavailable to the general public.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a recent report that his investigation of the
industry was prompted by consumer complaints.
The report said: "Ticketing, to put it bluntly, is a fixed game"
Investigators found abuses and practices that prevent consumers from buying tickets at affordable prices or sometimes even getting them at all.
- Venues and sellers like Ticketmaster regularly tacked on fees that added more than 21 percent to the face value, investigators said.
- They found that on average, 16 percent of tickets are reserved for various industry insiders like the venue employees, artists and promoters, while 38 percent are reserved for pre-sales to certain groups like holders of a particular credit card.
- Investigators found that third-party brokers re-sell tickets on sites like StubHub and TicketsNow at average margins of 49 percent above face-value and sometimes more than 1,000 percent. Some brokers use illegal specialty software, called "ticket bots," to quickly purchase as many desirable tickets as possible for resale at significant markups.
- The report cited a single broker buying 1,012 tickets within one minute to a U-2 concert at Madison Square Garden when they went on sale on Dec. 8, 2014, despite the vendor's claim of a four-ticket limit. By day's end, that broker and one other had 15,000 tickets to
U2's North American shows. Attorney General Schneiderman said his office is working "to create a level playing field in the ticket industry."
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