I remember a time when Producers and the Attorney General of New York were all riled up about say, at the most, a dozen Broadway Box Office Treasurers selling twenty house seat tickets per performance to brokers for a financial kickback known as “Ice.” Well, Ticketmaster has built a glacier over Broadway and no one seems to care.
For example, most of the HAMILTON tickets sold by Ticketmaster are sold-out thru next October, but if you go on the Ticketmaster site, you will see consistently 1/3rd of the seats available for resale “from fan to fan” for exorbitant prices, 3 to 8 times the face value of the original tickets. This means that the majority of the money being made by this hit show is not going to help pay the cast, crew, creatives or investors, it is going to the “fans” or more precisely “e-brokers.” HAMILTON made $1,700,000 gross last week, but there was probably at least another $2,000,000 paid to “e-brokers” above the face value. This is not good business.
Right now, there is a limit of 14 tickets per person each week for ticket sales, but we all know there are ways around that. There needs to be a limit on the amount you can charge to resell a ticket. Or, for every dollar you make over the ticket price, 50 cents should go back to the show. I know, it would be difficult to regulate that income, but if you can’t regulate the sales, what option do we have?
It’s not only HAMILTON, that’s just the most blatant case. And it’s not only Ticketmaster, check out Stubhub or any of the other resale sites. It is SO DAMN HARD TO MAKE MONEY IN THE THEATER BUSINESS. PRODUCERS: DON’T BE SATISFIED WITH A HIT, DEMAND NEW STANDARDS FOR ACCEPTABLE RESALE PRACTICES. (Yes, I am yelling.)