That’s what some fans are experiencing who purchased, or tried to purchase, tickets for the six Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 2023 US arena tour concerts that went on sale the morning of Wednesday, July 20.
The price of some floor seats rose to more than $4,000 due to the Ticketmaster dynamic pricing system, which adjusts the price in real time due to demand.
“I assume when Bruce shouts ‘Is anybody alive out there?’ on the next tour, it will be more of a medical check-in on those who had to sell a kidney to be able to afford tickets,” quipped one fan on Twitter.
The base price for the shows was $60 to $399 on Wednesday.
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“A lot of rock bands are charging those kinds of prices and are able to do the dynamic pricing, but I kind of wish he put a cap on it or said I’m not comfortable with doing that,” said Brandon Thompson of Moorestown, editor of the Blog It All Night Springsteen news site. “The dynamic pricing has gotten a little out of control with how demand is going.”
Dynamic pricing, also called “Platinum Seats,” “enables market-based pricing (adjusting prices according to supply and demand) for live event tickets, similar to how airline tickets and hotel rooms are sold,” states Ticketmaster on its website.
The Springsteen ticket prices are in accordance with industry norms for similar acts. Paul McCartney’s recent “Got Back” and Harry Styles tours used dynamic pricing, and the cost of tickets went into the thousands.
Springsteen, to this point, had held the line on ticket price cost. The pricing of the 2016 and ’17 “River Tour,” the last E Street Band tour, was below the industry average at $68 to $150 for a typical arena show.
“I miss camping out at Jack’s Music Store in Red Bank or calling into WPLJ to win tickets!” tweeted a fan. “(Springsteen) we love you but Ticketmaster is just scalping true fans!”
Some took umbrage that the Springsteen fans who registered as “Verified Fans” on Ticketmaster were subject to dynamic pricing.
“The Verified Fan process is a rigged game,” said Kevin Farrell of Sea Girt. “(Ticketmaster) knows exactly the supply of seats and demand for those seats, so they can control and raise prices at will because of dynamic pricing. The process has turned into an auction, not a ticket buying process, with the auctioneer making sure they get the most money possible.”
A fan asked E Street Band member Little Steven Van Zandt what the deal was on Twitter.
“I have nothing whatsoever to do with the price of tickets. Nothing. Nada. Niente. Bubkis…,” Van Zandt said.
Tickets for the Tampa, Fla., Orlando, Fla., Hard Rock Live at Hollywood, Fla., Tulsa, Okla.; Denver and Boston shows went on sale Wednesday. Verified resale tickets are currently available for the shows.
Shows at the Toyota Center in Houston, Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland are not being sold through Ticketmaster, and no Verified Fan code is required.
Area shows also include Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 1; two at the new USB Arena in Belmont Park, New York, on April 9 and 11; and the Prudential Center in Newark on April 14 to close the run.
A second North American tour leg will start in August 2023 after stadium shows in Europe. So far, more than 1.2 million tickets to the European shows have been sold.
2023 US arena tour
Feb 1, Tampa, Fla., Amalie Arena (tickets on sale July 20)
Feb. 3, Atlanta, State Farm Arena (tickets on sale 10 am July 27)
Feb. 5, Orlando, Fla., Amway Center (July 20)
Feb. 7, Hollywood, Fla., Hard Rock Live (July 20)
Feb. 10, Dallas, American Airlines Center (10 am July 22)
Feb 14, Houston, Toyota Center* (10 am July 22)
Feb. 16, Austin, Texas, Moody Center (10 am July 22)
Feb. 18, Kansas City, Mo., T-Mobile Center (10 am July 27)
Feb. 21, Tulsa, Okla., BOK Center (July 20)
Feb. 25, Portland, Ore., Moda Center (10 am July 22)
Feb. 27, Seattle, Climate Pledge Arena (10 am July 27)
March 2, Denver, Xcel Energy Center (10 am July 21)
March 7, Milwaukee, Fiserv Forum (10 am July 27)
March 9, Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide Arena (10 am July 27)
March 12, Uncasville, Conn., Mohegan Sun (10 am July 22)
March 14, Albany, NY, MVP Arena (10 am July 22)
March 16, Philadelphia, Wells Fargo Center* (10 am July 26)
March 18, State College, Pa., Bryce Jordan Center (10 am July 26)
March 20, Boston, TD Garden (July 20)
March 23, Buffalo, NY, KeyBank Center (10 am July 27)
March 25, Greensboro, NC, Greensboro Coliseum (10 am July 22)
March 27, Washington, DC, Capital One Arena (10 am July 26)
March 29, Detroit, Little Caesars Arena (10 am July 27)
April 1, New York, Madison Square Garden (10 am July 29)
April 3, Brooklyn, Barclays Center* (10 am July 29)
April 5, Cleveland, Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse* (10 am July 27)
April 7, Baltimore, Baltimore Arena (10 am July 26)
April 9 and 11, Belmont Park, NY, USB Arena (10 am July 29)
April 14, Newark, Prudential Center (10 am July 29)
*General onsale: no Ticketmaster Verified Fan access code required
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Chris Jordan, a Jersey Shore native, covers entertainment and features for the USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; [email protected]