Ticketmaster’s dynamic pricing doesn’t lie. In a tale of two audiences, Bruce Springsteen ticket prices are surging to $8,000 at Madison Square Garden in New York after sinking to just $6 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Fans of Bruce Springsteen have expressed dismay as ticket prices for his tour with the E Street Band — his first in six years — reached four-digit numbers. Ahead of The Boss’ Madison Square Garden gig, ticket prices are already surging towards $8,000, according to a quick check of Ticketmaster’s seat map on Wednesday (March 22nd). But the wild swings are happening in other cities as well, including less-expensive locales like Buffalo, NY, where tickets are also tipping into the thousands.
For an artist who built his career on his working-class image, Springsteen’s $5,000 seats in Buffalo seem like a slap in the face to fans. Indeed, New Yorkers could have saved money by booking a flight and checking out one of Springsteen’s shows in Oklahoma or Texas, where tickets quickly dipped below the $10 mark.
The extreme swings, including the upper-end four-digit prices, result from Ticketmaster’s “dynamic pricing” system, where an algorithm determines fluctuating prices based on real-time supply and demand. While Springsteen manager Jon Landau defended the pricing, noting that the average ticket price is in the mid-$200 range, which he calls a “fair price” — longtime fans of the Boss feel differently.
Across the web, fans expressed feeling “betrayed” and alienated by the one-time “working class guy” who now “sings down to the little guy.” Others just decided not to go.
While skyrocketing ticket prices are not unique to Springsteen, with fans of artists like Taylor Swift and Beyonce asked to pay increasingly steep costs for concert tickets, this is the first time Springsteen has not only gone with the flow but been eager to do so.
“I tell my guys, ‘Go out and see what everybody else is doing. Let’s charge a little less.’ For the past 49 years or however long we’ve been playing, we’ve pretty much been out there under market value,” the Boss said last year. “I’ve enjoyed that. It’s been great for the fans. This time I told them, ‘Hey, we’re 73 years old. The guys are there. I want to do what everybody else is doing, my peers.’ So that’s what happened. That’s what they did.”