New Jersey Congressman Demands ‘Answers’ From Ticketmaster Over Absurd Bruce Springsteen Ticket Prices

by Samantha Whidden

On Wednesday (August 31st), New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. took to Twitter to demand answers from Ticketmaster about the outrageous prices for the Bruce Springsteen shows. 

Variety reports that Congressmen Pascrell Jr. is a longtime critic of the ticketing business and Ticketmaster in particular. He tweeted about the situation with the Bruce Springsteen situation along with a letter that he sent to LiveNation’s CEO Michael Rapino. The letter calls out Ticketmaster’s practices. “Today I’ve demanded answers from Ticketmaster on the monopoly’s role in the Springsteen tour fiasco where fans were charged upwards of $5000 for seats,” the New Jersey Congressman declared.

“I write on behalf of my constituents and fans across the country that are excited for Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band’s 2023 tour,” the letter to Rapino reads. “Hard-working Americans who are fans of Bruce and other popular entertainers should have the ability to enjoy live entertainment without ticket sales parties that rip off consumers.”

The Congressman then writes that Ticketmaster “tacitly acknowledges” the issues. The company also notes the percentage of paid seats at different price ranges. Ticketmaster did point out that 88% of Springsteen fans were able to buy the tickets at face value. Typical prices ranged from $40 to $399 before taxes and fees. And the average fan purchased their ticket for $202. “To help fans better understand the frustratingly opaque process that leads to such high prices, I am inquiring about the veracity of the company’s statement, as well as the policies and prices the company has put in place for this tour.”

Congressmen Pascrell Jr. Remains to be a Vocal Critic of Live Nation due to Bruce Springsteen Tour Tickets 

Congressmen Pascrell Jr. previously opposed Ticketmaster’s merger with Live Nation in 2009. He is also a sponsor of the BOSS Act, which LA Times reports would force some transparency from the ticket industry. The politician released a statement at the end of July 2022 about the situation. “Americans have the right to enjoy some live entertainment without getting ripped off.” 

Although Bruce Springsteen himself has not commented on the situation, his manager Jon Landau originally declined an interview request. However, there was a confrontation between fans and E Street Band members online. Guitarist of the group, Steve Van Zandt wrote, “I have nothing whatsoever to do with the price of tickets. Nothing. Nada. Niente. Bubkis.”

Landau did eventually release a statement but remained unapologetic. He stated that the ticket policy came after surveying “what our peers have been doing.” He then dismissed reports that tickets are going for $1,000 or more. The manager says that’s not a representation of most ticket sales. “Our true average ticket price has been in the mid-$200 range. I believe that in today’s environment, that is a fair price to see someone universally regarded as among the very greatest artists of his generation.”