NJ lawmaker demands answers from Ticketmaster on Springsteen ticket fiasco
After some fans were charged $5,000 in a dynamic pricing scheme, one New Jersey lawmaker is demanding answers from Ticketmaster on the Bruce Springsteen tour fiasco.
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., D-N.J. 9th District, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, has written a letter to the head of Live Nation Entertainment demanding answers about Bruce Springsteen tour ticket sales last month, and how Live Nation-Ticketmaster’s secretive dynamic pricing scheme impacted consumers.
Many fans were outraged and shocked after being asked to pay outrageous markups to obtain tickets to see The Boss on his 2023 tour.
In a letter to Live Nation President and CEO Michael Rapino, Pascrell’s opening line was:
“I write on behalf of my constituents and fans across the country that are excited for Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band’s 2023 tour. Hard-working Americans who are fans of Bruce and other popular entertainers should have the ability to enjoy live entertainment without ticket-sales practices that rip off consumers.”
He wants Rapino to help fans better understand the process that leads to such high prices, as well as the policies and prices Live Nation has put in place for the upcoming 2023 tour.
The full text of Chairman Pascrell’s letter is here.
Pascrell has been the principal sponsor of the BOSS Act, overarching legislation that would impose a basic level of transparency upon the ticket industry so fans have a fair chance to purchase tickets on the primary market. It also protects consumers who choose to purchase tickets from a secondary market.
In 2016, the bill received a hearing in an Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee. Pascrell is working to reintroduce the legislation this year.
In July 2018, Pascrell and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., D-N.J. 6th District, wrote a letter to the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission highlighting a Government Accountability Office study that found consumer protection and competition problems in the primary and secondary live event ticket markets.
On March 22, Pascrell also wrote to the heads of the FTC and U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division urging them to overhaul federal guidelines to make it easier to overturn bad mergers.
Pascrell remains a leader in Congress calling for regulation of the opaque live events ticket market.
In New Jersey, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin has vowed to hold a legislative hearing into these ticket pricing practices.
He has not said when this hearing would be scheduled but he did say such a hearing will determine whether any of New Jersey’s existing consumer protection and price gouging laws were broken and if the laws need to be updated.
“It’s highly unfair that only the wealthiest can afford access to a quality show, under those circumstances,” Coughlin said.