NJ Reviewing Ticket Rules

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has ordered a review of a state agency’s ticket policies following reports that officials scored hundreds of free tickets to concerts while the state was involved in a lawsuit with brokers over ticketing practices.

According to court documents obtained by Bloomberg News, the office of former Gov. Jon Corzine was given first dibs on tickets to hot concerts through the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority between July and October 2009. At the same time, the NJ Attorney General was pursuing a suit against several ticket brokers that offered tickets on their Web sites prior to official onsales.

NJSEA reportedly reserved roughly 350 seats for Corzine’s staff to shows at two state-owned venues that featured artists including Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Jonas Brothers.

“The means by which the tickets are secured has everything to do with undue access and using official position to secure an unfair advantage,” ethics commission chair Paula Franzese told Bloomberg. “The public can’t help but feel violated when the perception is some are entitled to special treatment, but not others.”

However NJSEA spokesman John Samerjan explained the policy of holding back fewer than 1 percent of house seats is “known to all the relevant state entities,” and regularly reviewed by the NJSEA board.

“They represent the state,” he told the news service. “We’re a public facility hosting major events in the state, and they are paying for the tickets. We think that’s completely appropriate.”

A state ethics commission is also reportedly expected to review the policy during an upcoming meeting.