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July 09, 2008

'Free' Bon Jovi Central Park Concert... for $1,000?

Sellers asking for big bucks

Bon Jovi has never had trouble filling stadiums with adoring fans, many willing to pay hundreds (maybe thousands) of dollars for a chance to see Jon Bon Jovi or Richie Sambora (or one of the other guys -- um, what are their names again?) up close and -- gasp -- maybe get splashed with their sweat! Thing is, Bon Jovi's big upcoming tour finale is supposed to be FREE, yet folks are trying to cash in on the excitement and demand.

This Saturday, these other famous rockers from New Jersey are going to bring down the house in New York City in... Central Park (OK, so there's no actual house to bring down). The free concert is somehow tied into the Major League All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium next week (don't ask me why -- when asked at the press conference announcing the concert what team he roots for, Jon Bon Jovi answered he's "a football guy." What a ringing endorsement!)

The league gave out 60,000 tickets to the concert through Ticketmaster, at local stadiums, and some stores. Now scalpers are trying to unload tickets on eBay and Craig's List for more than a grand (though it's not clear they'll get anything close to that amount).

A seller called 'snicky14' has posted a pair of tix with a starting bid of $1,000. Good luck, bro. The winning bid on a ticket auction by seller 'gametickets4u' that ended at 1 p.m. Tuesday was $48.53 for a pair. That's still a profit, though.

The tickets explicitly state that selling is prohibited. Indeed Kimberly Spell, a spokeswoman for NYC & Company (the city's tourism and marketing agency), told the New York Post that lawyers would contact eBay to complain.

"It's very disappointing in the spirit of a free concert that individuals would try to take advantage," she is quoted as saying.


The article even quotes a baseball executive as saying that fans who buy tickets should be barred from the cancert.


As annoying as it may be that professional scalpers and everyday folks are trying to make a buck off supposedly free tickets, the prohibition on reselling is likely unenforceable. There probably isn't much Bon Jovi, Major League Baseball or the city can do about these kinds of ticket sales.

That's because "scalping" is no longer illegal in New York. You can thank the illustrious former governor, Eliot Spitzer, for that. In his brief time in office, in between shelling out thousands to "spend time" with young women, he signed legislation making ticket reselling at market prices legal.

That means if some Jovi-obsessed dude wants to fork over a grand for a spot on the grass on the Great Lawn next to me (who paid nothing), that's the way it's going to be in a free market.

Posted by riesambo at July 9, 2008 06:17 AM