“Ticketing is a Fixed Game” Finds New York Attorney General Schneiderman in Scathing Report
Through a three-year investigation to be released Thursday titled "Why Can't New Yorkers Get Tickets," New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman confirmed what music, sports and general entertainment fans have known for a long time. Tickets are too expensive. He further stated that "ticketing is a fixed game."
According to The New York Times, the report finds that for one U2 show at Madison Square Garden a high-tech ticket scalper was able to electronically buy more than 1,000 tickets in under a minute. Likewise, tickets to see Pope Francis' visit to the city resold for thousands of dollars.
"Ticketing is a fixed game," Schneiderman said in a statement. "My office will continue to crack down on those who break our laws, prey on ordinary consumers and deny New Yorkers affordable access to the concerts and sporting events they love. This investigation is just the beginning of our efforts to create a level playing field in the ticket industry."
Artists such as Adele and Mumford & Sons are taking it into their own hands to try and protect their fans from extra costs through various measures such as saving tickets for sale closer to the event, but it hasn't worked across the board.
As many as 54 percent of tickets in the New York area are held up in holds and presales, the report finds. For Kanye West's 2013 performance at Barclays Center 29 percent of tickets were held for insiders while the report found that 10 top-selling acts including Coldplay and Fleetwood Mac had as many as 70 percent of tickets were reserved for presale according to the report.
The report details the widespread use of bots, programs that can scan and scoop up tickets from popular online ticket selling sites such as Ticketmaster, which bypass the security measures put in place to prevent this illegal act.
It's pretty obvious those security measures aren't robust enough to protect consumers but Ticketmaster, which is owned by Live Nation, said in a statement that they have cooperated with the attorney general's office. Another online ticket vendor, TicketNetwork, said, "TicketNetwork applauds the efforts of Attorney General Schneiderman for taking a stand against venues and teams that prevent fans from freely selling their tickets, place price floors on tickets, and refuse to disclose what tickets actually remain on sale for the public to purchase." Their CEO, Don Vaccaro, continued, "Like TicketNetwork, the Attorney General supports fair pricing and keeping general public access to games affordable, and we will happily continue to work with his office to ensure customers are treated fairly."
Watch a fan video below from someone who was able to make it into Kanye's 2013 Barclays show.