Bruce Springsteen Fans Left Disappointed As Scalpers Freeze Out Online Ticket Buyers
by: Joe Robinson
Didn’t score tickets to Bruce Springsteen‘s upcoming ‘Wrecking Ball’ tour when they went on sale yesterday? You weren’t alone. Thousands of Boss fans logging onto Ticketmaster’s website were met with frozen computer screens Friday (Jan. 27) when attempting to purchase tickets — a glitch Ticketmaster has blamed on ticket scalpers using high-tech computer programs that generated traffic that was exponentially larger than normal.
“Big acts mean big fan interest. Unfortunately this also means that scalpers are out in full force,” Ticketmaster said in a statement. “Scalpers were using sophisticated computer programs to assault our systems and secure tickets with the sole intention of selling them in the resale market.”
Further evidence of the scalper scam comes from the fact that plenty of choice seats were immediately available through Stubhub and other secondary ticketing sites. Stubhub prices for his April 9 gig at New York’s Madison Square Garden currently start at $143 for nosebleed balcony seats and top out at $8,719 for prime spots on the first level — a bit more expensive than the $98 face value they originally went for.
It was a similar situation that inspired U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) to introduce the so-called BOSS Act two years ago, and yesterday he renewed his call for the bill. The BOSS Act would aim to create transparency in the way Ticketmaster and other agencies sold tickets in attempt to avoid similar ordeals in the future.
“I think it’s important to note that while many fans were unable to get tickets today, many brokers were able to get their hands on good seats for Springsteen and put them up on secondary ticket sellers’ websites where they were sold at higher prices,” Pascrell said in a statement Friday.
A statement posted on Springsteen’s official website also addressed the issue, saying that ”We know that many of you have been having trouble getting tickets on this morning’s on-sales.” It was followed by an early explanation from Ticketmaster, although both have since been removed. The North AMerican leg of the ‘Wrecking Ball’ tour kicks off March 18 in Atlanta and is schedule through a May 2 gig in Newark, N.J.