In Your Corner: 3rd Party Sites Drive Up Concert Ticket Prices

By Ryan Elijah

July 8, 2010 Updated Jul 8, 2010 at 3:49 PM EST

The entertainment world is big business, behind the artists are agents, promoters and entertainment companies, all getting a cut of ticket sales.

Allen County Memorial Coliseum General Manger Randy Brown says 20 years ago, paper tickets were delivered to record stores, now a majority of tickets are sold online. However, the explosion of 3rd party sites has provided quite an opportunity for scalpers to drive up prices.

"so many people go to sites that are unreliable, 9 out of 10 may get the ticket but the question is what are you paying. We hear of people paying twice face value, before you do that call the box office", said Randy Brown.

There are well over 100 online sites where a consumer can buy concert or sporting event tickets, but you need to be careful that the ticket your buying is actually inside the building.

"We found a site that was selling row 26 tickets for Carrie Underwood, we don't have a row 26 in our building", said Brown.

While counterfeit tickets are rare, The Coliseum does see a number of copied "print at home" tickets. In that case only the first one scanned gets in. Like most arena's they have a long relationship with Ticketmaster and view the company as the best outlet for consumers.

Some in the entertainment business believe some artists and other groups are leaking tickets into the secondary markets, effectively raising prices. Meanwhile Ticketmaster has court battles over software programs that allow companies to "cut" in line before the general public for the big shows.

"they ping the Ticketmaster site and are able to grab a set number of the best available tickets, before the public can buy them and this starts the process. Ticketmaster has been aggressive in fighting this in court.", said Randy Brown.

If you purchased a $57 ticket for the upcoming Alan Jackson show at the Coliseum, you would end up paying 70-dollars after Ticketmaster convenience fees were added, you can avoid $10 dollars of that by buying directly at the Coliseum box office.

For a sold out show, it's a good idea to check back with the ticket office as some seats are returned by artists and production companies. Almost anyone can be a ticket broker these days, just make sure you're using one that can deliver what they promise, because you don't want to be sitting in "row 26" for Carrie Underwood's show at the Coliseum.




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