$12K For ’12-12-12′ Tickets?

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is at it again, giving secondary ticketers a piece of his mind following complaints from fans trying to get tickets to the star-studded “12-12-12” Hurricane Sandy benefit concert at Madison Square Garden
One ticket was listed for $60,000, drawing outrage from just about everyone.

The Democratic senator, who in recent years has called for ticketing regulation to limit reselling, sent a letter to StubHub, TicketExchange, TicketsNow and TicketLiquidator Dec. 6 seeking to prohibit the resale of tickets to the benefit concert, according to the Wall Street Journal

Tickets for the Dec. 12 concert featuring Jay-ZBon JoviEric ClaptonBruce SpringsteenRoger WatersPaul McCartney and many others, sold out minutes after going on sale, for $150 to $2,500 each. Predictably, tickets started showing up on the resale sites, prompting complaints. Proceeds from the onsale are to benefit the Robin Hood Foundation, with Ticketmaster waiving its usual fees.

The targets of Schumer’s wrath have responded to the ensuing media outcry, with only StubHub still offering tickets. In fact, TicketsNow, TicketExchange and TicketLiquidator say they never offered tickets at all.

StubHub seems to have updated its policy and, although still listing 12-12-12 tickets, “will donate 100% of its service fees and commissions (approximately 24% of every purchase) for this event to the Robin Hood Relief Fund, helping those affected by Hurricane Sandy,” according to a pop-up window on the event’s page. The window previously said sellers could choose to donate their proceeds.

TicketNetwork, which is parent company to TicketLiquidator, says it never listed 12-12-12 tickets and instructed brokers that they would not be able to list tickets for the event. The company’s director of government affairs, Dan Pullium, said the company “has long made it a practice to consider that there may be certain events that sellers should not be allowed to list their ticket offerings because of the event’s charitable and non-commercial nature.”  

TicketNetwork says Schumer never contacted them, and the senator Tweeted Dec. 11 that he was pleased the company is not listing tickets to the event. 

A spokesman for Ticketmaster, which operates the TicketsNow and TicketExchange sites, said it’s standard policy to not offer tickets for charitable events, telling the Journal, “We proactively blocked all postings for this event on our resale marketplaces in advance because we believe that no one but the Robin Hood Foundation should profit from this event.”

As of press time, StubHub was sticking to its guns.

“I don’t disagree that this is not an event that should be profited on,” StubHub spokesman Glenn Lehrman told the Journal. “That being said, people are going to resell this ticket whether they sell it on our platform or by other means.”