ticket brokers

Photo via Flickr
There’s only one way to end the current practice of resellers getting obscene prices or discounters taking all but a fraction of the income for your tickets. Stop making it so easy for them. Broadway offers a good example of what not to do.

Do only tourists and suckers pay full price?

Every Monday afternoon, The Broadway League releases the weekly sales data for every show performing on the Great White Way. Currently, about 60% of all Broadway tickets are sold below the face value of the ticket.

When the results of “never-discounted” shows (The Book of Mormon, The Lion King and Wicked) are deducted, the proportion of discounted ticket sales jumps to nearly 70%. Last week, for instance, total Broadway sales revenues (about $33 million) were about two-thirds of their aggregate gross potential. In non-peak weeks, this ratio floats closer to 50%.

Posted July 24, 2012


Photo: Marja van Bochove
This article is cross-posted on Ticket News and Americans for the Arts' ARTSblog.
Harry Truman famously expressed a desire to consult only with “one-armed economists”. Our 33rd President wasn’t fond of counsel that began "On the one hand, this..." and was followed by "On the other hand, that..." Truman wanted straight talk without equivocation.

So, here is a bit of economic straight talk from the data vaults of TRG Arts. Forget everything you learned in that Econ 101 class you took in undergraduate school. You can also forget what you learned at Business School. It doesn’t apply to tickets.

Posted July 19, 2012


London 2012 Tickets. Photo: Paul Hudson.
The eyes of the world turn to London July 27th when 10,500 athletes in 26 sports begin to compete in the Summer Games of the XXX Olympiad. 
The logistics surrounding the buying and selling of tickets for live Olympic events are daunting. We are talking about eight million tickets for a full range of activities from preliminary rounds to final “medal” events to opening and closing ceremonies – all crammed into a two-week window of time.

Posted July 9, 2012


Sign from the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.
Photo: Richard Eriksson
The secondary ticket market is a hot button issue across the performing arts and broader ticketed-event universe. Anything this huge has to be.

The New York Times recently estimated that ticket sales through brokers and other resellers “is a $4.5 billion business nationwide.” Revenue of this magnitude in a sector with few barriers to entry likely means that further growth is inevitable.

After attending a long series of arts conferences this year where experts from the field have talked insistently about the evils of the secondary ticketing market, one has to wonder: Do ticket brokers have mothers? Surely, only a mother could love these people. The list of pejoratives is lengthy. “Scalper” is one of the kinder terms. Thus my question: Who’s a scalper?

For some, the answer is simple. Brokers are bad and the only solution is to legislate them out of existence.

Posted June 25, 2012


A version of this post originally appeared as my guest commentary for Ticket News, an online resource for ticket industry news and information.
a shot of Broadway by Bobby Bradley
Photo by Bobby Bradley via Flickr
When it comes to pricing ticketed events, what works? For nearly two decades, TRG Arts has answered that question for hundreds of non-profit arts and culture organizations. About four years ago, TRG also began working with a number of commercial entertainment clients, mostly Broadway productions.

Posted November 4, 2011



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