Pascrell sends letter to Live Nation CEO
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. of New Jersey is demanding answers from Ticketmaster for its role for charging upwards of $5,000 for tickets to Bruce Springsteen’s forthcoming 2023 North American tour. In July, the Democratic U.S. House of Representatives member slammed Ticketmaster after ticket prices were not revealed before going on sale and were often way more than expected. He called the controversy “the latest scandal from the greedy ticket monopoly.”
This week, Pascrell is taking action as he shares the letter he sent to Ticketmaster’s parent company, Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino, on social media. In the letter, he asks Rapino to be more transparent and fair with its pricing strategies after Ticketmaster confirmed their dynamic pricing is based on supply and demand.
“Hard-working Americans who are fans of Bruce and other popular entertainers should have the ability to enjoy live entertainment without ticket-sales practices that rip off consumers,” Pascrell writes. “Ticketmaster has tacitly acknowledged these issues by making a rare public statement to inform the public about the percentage of seats being sold at different price ranges. To help fans better understand the frustratingly opaque process that leads to such high prices, I am inquiring about the veracity of the company’s statement, as well as the policies and prices the company has put in place for this tour.”
Pascrell is referring to the statement Ticketmaster offered Variety after the initial batch of Springsteen tickets went on sale in July. At the time, they stated that 88.2% of the tickets sold had sold at fixed prices between $59.50 and $399 before taxes and fees. They also shared that the average ticket price is $262 and 56% were sold for less than $200 each.
The company doesn’t dispute that tickets were sold as high as $5,000. They claim only 11.2% of overall tickets on the first day of on-sales reached that high. Furthermore, they claim only 1.3% of total ticket sales had surpassed $1,000 each at the time of the report.
Springsteen manager Jon Landau also defended the practice, stating “Regardless of the commentary about a modest number of tickets costing $1,000 or more, our true average ticket price has been in the mid-$200 range.”
In his most recent letter, Pascrell calls out the fairness of the prices, validity of Ticketmaster’s Verified Ticket Reseller program, and demands that Rapino answer specifics to Ticketmaster’s “monopoly role” in the Springsteen tour, among others.
Today I’ve demanded answers from Ticketmaster on the monopoly’s role in the Springsteen tour fiasco where fans were charged upwards of $5000 for seats. pic.twitter.com/K8WGtmH1iX
— Bill Pascrell, Jr. 🇺🇸🇺🇦 (@BillPascrell) August 31, 2022