Tickets to an upcoming Bruce Springsteen concert in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have dropped as low as $6 each — while the same seats were just under $60 on Ticketmaster.
Less than a week before an upcoming Bruce Springsteen show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, large numbers of tickets are still available, both from the box office and resale sites. But there’s a massive difference in pricing for customers shopping on the Ticketmaster page compared to competing marketplaces. On average, tickets are about ten times more expensive after fees on Ticketmaster.
The reason for such a pricing disparity comes down to placing a price floor on the event, preventing people from listing tickets for resale for a price less than the minimum value set on the marketplace. As a result, the least expensive tickets for Tuesday’s concert on Ticketmaster were $59.50 before fees, for a total of $73.70. Tickets for the same section and row priced for resale at MegaSeats.com could be found for $7 after fees.
“Resale price floors harm consumers twice over,” says John Breyault of the National Consumers League. “First, they keep discounted tickets from being available to fans who would otherwise be unable to attend a show. Second, they harm sellers who simply want to recoup at least a portion of their ticket investment when they are unable to attend an event. Fans should not be the ones to pay the price when Live Nation and its clients fail to anticipate lower-than-expected demand for an event.”
Available ticket listings as of Friday night on MegaSeats showed more than 70 tickets for $20 or less, just a fraction of the box office price at the point of purchase, even when face value prices were available for specific Springsteen tour dates. Similar numbers are available on other ticket resale marketplaces that aren’t subject to the price floors that artists for venues often require.
By design, price floors are meant to keep those who bought tickets and cannot attend an event from being able to price their tickets for resale at below box office pricing. The use of price floors has received legal scrutiny in the past; the NFL agreed to do away with a league-wide price floor put in place for resale tickets on their “official” marketplace — which is also powered by Ticketmaster’s system — after multiple Attorney Generals went after them for the practice.
It doesn’t bode too well for The Boss that his tour dates have inflated prices at the initial on-sale period and the low demand in places like Tulsa. Springsteen’s fans have already shown righteous rage at feeling taken advantage of, with prices surging as high as $5,000 for a single seat. It becomes increasingly difficult to argue that the working-class persona long embraced by the New Jersey native isn’t just a gimmick these days.