In the wake of the ongoing excitement over “dynamic pricing” for Bruce Springsteen’s tour, Ticketmaster took the unusual step Sunday afternoon of releasing some statistics on costs and percentages for the dates that went on sale last week. Ticketmaster downplays the number of controversial “platinum” variable-priced tickets that reached as much as $5,000 apiece on the first day of presale, saying they accounted for just 11.2% of total tickets sold.
According to the ticketing service’s calculations, the other 88.2% of tickets sold remained at fixed prices, which ranged from $59.50 to $399 before additional service fees.
Ticketmaster goes on to say that the average price of all tickets sold to date is $262, with 56% selling for less than $200 face value.
Although the service doesn’t dispute reports of tickets priced between $4,000 and $5,000 under the Platinum program, Ticketmaster claims that only 1.3% of all tickets have cost more than $1,000 to date.
Ticketmaster releases this information after five days of public outrage over the most expensive ducats and in advance that most of the cities on the tour go on sale later this week. Advance sales for the 2023 US tour will be staggered over 10 days and the company has a keen interest in making sure angry fans aren’t dissuaded from believing that all the hundreds of thousands of tickets yet to go on sale are sold for amounts that have made headlines.
The service further broke down the percentages of the 56% of tickets that reportedly sold for less than $200. 18% were sold under $99, 27% between $100 and $150, and 11% between $150 and $200.
“Prices and formats are in line with industry standards for top performers,” the company said in a statement.
Springsteen has not made any statements about the controversy himself. Both he and Ticketmaster were under pressure to provide an explanation for the tickets, which were priced in the four-figure range, with the $5,000 figure being touted by some critics as evidence the artist wasn’t really a “man of the… people”.
Ticketmaster and the singer hadn’t previously announced a fixed cost for tickets, although fans quickly discovered that the first to queue each day were able to buy in the $60 to $400 range…just for these to immediately snag and go the more exorbitant ducats – with values inflated up to 10 times their original value – than what most potential buyers see when they log on.
Ticketmaster is highly unlikely to drop the “platinum” program that has proved so unpopular this week, as it is designed to devalue secondary ticketing sites like StubHub and put extra money in the hands of the artist and promoter put. By the third day of Friday’s presale, it looked like the highest platinum values would be capped, as an examination of seating charts in various cities revealed that those tickets maxed out in the low-to-mid 2000s instead of $4,000-$5,000. But it’s also possible that those seats were priced lower in response to perceptions of less heated demand after the huge surge in national interest on day one.
While there has been speculation that the highest circulating prices were determined by an algorithm, sources say that dynamic pricing isn’t actually rooted in an algorithm, but was set by event organizers’ pricing teams, which accounts for some of the big price differences for platinum tickets of the city would declare a city.
Most dates come onto the market from Tuesday to Friday.
Shows for Washington, DC, Baltimore, State College, Penn., Cleveland and Philadelphia go on sale on Tuesday, although the latter two are among the few shows on the tour not sold through Ticketmaster. Detroit goes on sale on Wednesday. Tickets for Atlanta, Kansas City, Seattle, Milwaukee, Columbus and Buffalo are available on Thursday.
On Friday, the two New York City dates – Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center – go on sale (although the latter show in Brooklyn is also not handled by Ticketmaster). Also on sale Friday are the tour finale in Newark, NJ and a two-night stand in Belmont Park, NY.