‘Speculative’ Ticket Sales for Bruce Springsteen Tour Prompt Criminal Probe
Tickets to Bruce Springsteen's upcoming tour don't go on sale until Dec. 11, but "speculative" seats have already been listed on the secondary market, and the New York Attorney General is looking into it.
Reuters reports that the criminal probe was launched after three ticket re-seller sites — StubHub, TicketNetwork and Vivid Seats — allowed listings from re-sellers offering seats, even though they didn't actually have tickets in hand. According to a spokesperson from the Attorney General's office, prices reached upward of $5,000.
"Speculative tickets harm both consumers and the ticket industry," explained Assistant Attorney General for the Internet Bureau Jordan Adler. "In many cases, consumers who purchase a speculative ticket do not receive the seats that were advertised and paid for."
The companies were served with a letter ordering the removal of the listings and asking executives to meet with investigators and discuss steps to combat speculative ticket sales, but it's unclear what — if anything — can or will be done to address the situation. Even though a spokesperson for TicketNetwork said the site had wiped out the offending listings and urged competitors to follow suit, a Vivid Seats representative merely reaffirmed the company's desire to provide "a positive customer experience in ticket buying."
StubHub, meanwhile, seemed to defend speculative sales, with a rep telling Reuters that the company "stands behind" each ticket that changes hands through its site and has fail-safe measures in place to ensure every buyer gets what they pay for. "If any of these things do not occur," explained the spokesperson, "we will find comparable or better tickets to the event or provide a refund."
As previously reported, Springsteen has booked a tour marking the release of The Ties That Bind, a box set looking back on his 1980 LP The River, with dates scheduled to run from mid-January through mid-March. Springsteen and the E Street Band are also set to serve as the musical guests for the Dec. 19 episode of Saturday Night Live.
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