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Letter: Arena shares the blame for concert ticket fiasco

Arena shares the blame for concert ticket fiasco

In Jeff Miers’ excellent Gusto article on the sale of Paul McCartney concert tickets by First Niagara Center, I disagree with only one thing: I do hold the venue responsible. As the concert site, FNC is promoter, advertiser and ticket seller, claiming tickets available at certain prices. In the article, FNC mentioned only one presale, American Express. The News editorial of Sept. 2 said “there were at least three presales.” What is the truth, FNC?

FNC claims it employed the same ticketing policies, including random handbills and ticket limits, that it has been enforcing for at least a decade. First, there is absolutely no mention of this policy in the McCartney concert promo on its website. And FNC should not assume that everybody knows about it.

Second, this handbill policy is a crock anyway, being neither fair nor guaranteeing a ticket. FNC simply doesn’t want to deal with real people in person, or have long lines outside its building. This lopsided policy actually does more to prevent the general public from purchasing affordable tickets.

If FNC thinks its archaic handbill policy is relevant, just how modernly aware is it that, at 10 a.m. sale time, thousands of tickets will get sucked up in three minutes by auto-bot dialers of secondary market/scalpers, effectively locking out ordinary people unable to get a single ticket? This is not the first happenstance.

If FNC had any loyalty to its hometown population, it could open the box office at least 24 hours before going worldwide. I recall buying tickets to the Aud concerts at various AM&A’s department stores as ticket outlets the day before general sale.

If FNC advertises concert tickets at certain prices, and takes no measures to ensure the actual general public has a reasonable opportunity to buy tickets at these prices, then I do hold the venue just as culpable as the greedy scalpers.

Diane Napoli