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Springsteen tickets were so expensive when they went on sale. But you can get cheaper ones

Bruce Springsteen
Courtesy of the artist
/
NPR
Bruce Springsteen

Couldn't afford Springsteen tickets? You're not alone. Here's why tickets were so expensive initially — and how resellers might be your best bet to get cheaper tickets.

Couldn’t get tickets to see Springsteen and the E Street Band at his Dallas concert next February?

You’re not alone.

When tickets went on sale July 22nd, fans entering the queue promptly encountered technical issues — from the app crashing to the online waiting list 'pausing' for extended periods of time.

And then fans who were able to brave the tech complications met a much bigger pain: absurdly high ticket prices.

Many felt betrayed. How could Bruce Springsteen, the rock'n-roll legend who spun tales about his life as a working-class Jersey boy — how could the Boss gouge his most beloved followers?

The answer is . . . complicated.

The sky-high demands for the initial seat offering were caused by Ticketmaster’s “dynamic pricing” algorithm. Much like the “surge pricing” of Uber rides at peak hours or locations, when the demand for tickets is highest, the prices are high as well.

american_airlines_arena.jpg
Flickr.com
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be playing the American Airlines Center in Dallas Feb. 10, 2023

A spokesperson for Ticketmaster defended the model: "Dynamic pricing is about capturing more value for the artist at the initial on sale vs. that value going to people reselling tickets on the secondary market. Similar to airlines and hotels, prices adjust up or down based on demand.”

The first-day pricing caused a significant amount of backlash among the many hopefuls wanting to see Springsteen's first world tour in nearly six years.

Those initial ticket shockers, however, aren’t the ones currently represented on Ticketmaster.

For the Dallas show, in particular, the ticket reseller — an age-old nemesis — might just be your best bet to secure seats for one of the hottest concerts in recent memory.

Now that demand has cooled somewhat, the cost of resale tickets on Ticketmaster is markedly down from what it was just a few days ago. The cheapest ticket right now, fees included, is around $120.

True, you’ll be sitting behind the stage and in the 300 section of the American Airlines Center. But you’ll be relatively close to the action. The cheapest seats in front of the stage, also in the stadium’s highest level, currently cost a little more than $200.

But if that’s a price you’re willing to pay, and you want to ensure you get tickets, you can log on to Ticketmaster and purchase those right now.

On the other hand, if you want the best possible deal, it may be wise to wait. But it's a risk. It's like a bet on the stock market going up or down. Or waiting for October to buy that new car you want.

Resellers want to recoup some of their money on the tickets they've already snapped up, so prices will likely decline the closer it gets to the concert date. The day after the concert, after all, they're worthless.

So if you’re willing to wait until next February to secure the cheapest tickets to the Boss’ Dallas gig — and it's not a sure bet, you risk missing the concert entirely — then that option is available.

Ticket sellers — whether they’re official ticket providers or resellers — seek to maximize their profit according to the market. So — with a bit of patience, some risk-taking, some luck — you might be able to beat them at this game.

Max Chow-Gillette is the Summer 2022 Art&Seek intern.