Share this article

print logo

Letter: Only ticket resellers benefit from scalping

Only ticket resellers benefit from scalping

A recent letter writer stated that First Niagara Center is the promoter, advertiser and ticket seller for the coming Paul McCartney concert. This is incorrect.

Having had experience in the concert tour business, I know it works like this: Tours such as McCartney’s are always owned by one of the large promoters, in this case AEG. The tour owner/promoter guarantees the artist a set sum of money, or a percentage of the gate, or a percentage of everything for the tour (some promoters end up with what is called a “Parking and Popcorn” deal).

AEG isn’t even really the ticket seller. That falls to, usually in most venues, Ticketmaster, which has exclusive ticket sales rights to many venues – almost all that matter, actually. AEG would be the advertiser, not the FNC. First Niagara Center is basically just a rented hall for the night.

The issue of bots buying tickets has existed since the days of handbills to stand in line. Ticket resellers used to hire people, human bots, to stand in line to buy tickets for them. Now, a computer bot does it all online.

No one, other than the ticket reseller, wins. The artist is hurt the most. If a ticket has a face value of $300, and it is purchased by a bot and resold on a resale service for $600, the only entity taking in any of that extra $300 is the reseller. These people are making as much as, and maybe more, than the artist.

Unless and until there is a true auction system for the purchase of tickets, those who use bots to buy tickets at the sale opening will be the big winner in live concert promotion. Nice work, if you can get it.

Peter Huston