Ticket Price Skyrocket: A Simple Answer to a Simple Question

The Washington Post apparently only just recently noticed that ticket prices for your average concert are completely out of control, these days.  And so they ask, “Is the ticket biz out of line?”

Let me field this one. .  yes.  I just got done watching Rush in concert at Darien-freakin’-Lake, and paying $200 for the luxury.  $200!  For Rush?  Had I been the one buying the tickets, we would have sat out this concert.  Unfortunately, with ticket prices skyrocketing, especially for classic rock bands, the number didn’t seem out of line for my wife, who wanted to do something nice for me.  I love her, but I though I was going to die when I heard how much they cost.

Of course, Ticketmaster can’t be blamed.  They’re going to blame it on scalpers:

Is the Ticket Biz Out of Line? – washingtonpost.com

Ticketmaster. The ticket powerhouse, which last year sold 128 million tickets, worth more than $7 billion, contends that the armies of independent ticket brokers corrupt its public sales. In particular, Ticketmaster claims that brokers have gained an unfair advantage over the public by using automated phone-dialer programs and software, known as “bots,” that are capable of generating multiple ticket-buying requests at once — practices in violation of the company’s stated terms of use. Many of those tickets end up resold on the Internet via hundreds of ticket resale sites, the company says.

Um, hello?  Our tickets were purchased directly through Ticketmaster, not an intermediary.  What’s more, blaming cheesy bot programs and dialers for the fact that you’ve done next to nothing to stop the escalation of ticket prices is just weak and transparent.  Obviously, if the crazy prices seem par for the course, there’s no need to be shy about raising the base price and scooping up more cash, is there?  It works well for Ticketmaster to have a high demand for their product.

But then, shame on us, as well.  We keep paying those prices, don’t we?  And this is why the vaunted Marketplace cannot be trusted on it’s own: because it raises the price of luxury items well beyond inflation, leaving all but the very rich behind.  What is it like to be 20-something these days?  How do you afford to go see a show?

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.