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Garth Brooks at the Wynn: Ticket brokers cry foul [Updated]

October 27, 2009 |  3:47 pm

In response to anti-scalping measures that Garth Brooks and the Wynn resort have put in place in connection with Brooks’ forthcoming performances in Las Vegas, a consortium of ticket brokers criticized owner Steve Wynn on Tuesday for warning that any tickets determined to have been sold for more than face value would be subject to cancellation and refund at face value.

“Fans should have the right to buy and sell the tickets they want without having to RSVP their guests or risk cancellation based on new, arbitrary rules,” the National Assn. of Ticket Brokers said in a statement. “They’re changing the rules in the middle of the game, and it’s only going to hurt the fans who can’t find tickets, or are stuck with ones they can’t use.”

In announcing Brooks’ engagement at the 1,500-seat Encore Theatre, marking his return from self-imposed retirement, Wynn said stringent measures would be taken to ensure that the $125 face-value tickets would not be re-sold at inflated prices.

[Updated at  5:25 p.m.: "Steve Wynn and Garth Brooks intend to protect guests and fans from the predatory practice of scalpers who seek to charge hundreds and hundreds of dollars over face value for concert tickets," said Jennifer Dunne, vice-president of public relations and marketing for Wynn/Encore, in response to the association's  statement. "They will not be successful at Wynn Las Vegas, as we will cancel these tickets.  Fans looking for seats should not be misled by these scalpers and should understand that these tickets will not be redeemable at Wynn Las Vegas."]

The brokers' association accused Wynn of trying to block competition. “These actions aren’t meant to address any problems with brokers or the reselling of tickets,” it said. “They are meant to restrict the open market and eliminate any competition for tickets.

“Fans hire brokers to help them find the tickets they want, for the price they can pay, or to resell the tickets they can’t use,” the statement said. “Wynn has no right to tell these fans, ‘Hey, tough luck -- unless you bought them at our box office within two hours of going on sale then you can’t go to the show.’ "

The first batch of about 30,000 tickets for 20 concerts at the Encore sold out within a few hours of being put on sale Saturday morning at the Wynn’s website. The shows begin Dec. 11.

-- Randy Lewis