Share this article

print logo

Schneiderman joins the fight against unscrupulous conduct by ticket scalpers

“The Boss” is coming back to town but in order to make sure that he is the only one in charge, and not unscrupulous ticket resellers, the state Attorney General’s Office is taking a proactive approach.

This “crackdown” should be beneficial for the fans of Bruce Springsteen.

Buffalo is one of the tour stops at First Niagara Center in February. New York City, Albany and Rochester are also on the docket. Springsteen is a superstar. When he comes to town, any town, fans of all ages flock. They should have a fair chance of getting tickets.

Technology has taken ticket scalping, reselling or whatever else you would call it to new low levels. Some bad actors are using whatever tools are available to edge out the average ticket buyer.

The state Attorney General’s Office has sent letters to officials of StubHub, TicketNetwork and Vivid Seats Ltd., telling them to review ticket listings for the Springsteen shows and, this is important, remove all the ones that are speculative.

The speculative tickets are what can make the difference between “fan zero” getting a good seat, or any seat. Today’s concertgoers have been subjected to some of the worst actors jumping ahead of everyone else in order to game the system. The Springsteen concerts in New York City, Albany, Rochester and Buffalo announced last Friday were actually listed online for resale on Sunday. How could that be? The postings landed a full five days before tickets were officially offered to the public this Friday.

These were not cheap tickets. The resellers not only have the gall to advertise tickets before they’re even on the market but for thousands of dollars.

One might reasonably wonder how someone can resell tickets that have not gone on sale. Easy. They don’t have them, yet. In some cases, the customers who pay these exorbitant prices will never get the tickets. Or, they won’t get their specified seats. The resellers still get paid.

Resellers are not the only ones to watch out for, as concertgoers around here found out the hard way when Paul McCartney graced the stage at First Niagara Center on Oct. 22. Just as when the Rolling Stones made an appearance at Ralph Wilson Stadium in July, secondary ticket sellers used robotic computer programs, “bots,” to grab as many tickets as possible and sold them at skyrocket prices.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., has said that he intends to introduce federal legislation targeting “bots,” illegal in New York State but nothing that a little bit of technological subterfuge can’t get around.

Gone are the days when concertgoers could shell out $20 or, as lore has it, even less to see top acts. Ticket prices have gone up. That’s the fair market at work. But rules have to be in place so that people can’t be taken advantage of.

And you know “The Boss” would want it that way.