Pop & Hiss

The L.A. Times music blog

« Previous Post | Pop & Hiss Home | Next Post »

No Doubt shows raise doubt about Ticketmaster [UPDATE]

February 25, 2009 |  3:54 pm

UPDATE: As of Thursday morning, listings of tickets for No Doubt's tour had been pulled from the Ticketmaster-owned TicketsNow.com resale site and replaced with a message advising site visitors that "No Doubt tickets are currently unavailable."

There’s no question that No Doubt is planning to close its reunion tour on its old Orange County turf with performances July 31 and Aug. 1 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine.

But those shows raise the question of how efficiently Ticketmaster is following through on its recent agreement with the New Jersey attorney general’s office to change the way it operates its No_doubt_tixTicketsNow.com resale operation.

On the same day that Live Nation announced that tickets would be put on sale March 7 for No Doubt's Irvine concerts, TicketsNow.com already listed 57 tickets for those shows for sale for prices ranging from $70 to $854 (screenshot at left). That was also more than 24 hours before presale tickets would be offered to members of the group's Tour Club. (One of TicketsNow.com's competitors, StubHub.com, also shows ticket listings for those No Doubt shows with prices running from $76 to $342.)

Under the agreement, Ticketmaster promised “not to allow the sale or offer of sale of any tickets on the TicketsNow.com re-selling website until the initial sale begins on its primary website,” according to the statement issued Monday by Atty. Gen. Anne Milgram’s office. That deal also led to Ticketmaster’s vow that “all tickets it receives for sale to the general public will be sold on its primary market website.”

Fans in other areas have complained that the practice has continued this week, with TicketsNow.com also offering resale tickets for upcoming shows by Leonard Cohen and Brad Paisley, among others, before they’ve gone on sale through primary ticket outlets.

A Ticketmaster spokesman said today that the TicketsNow.com is an open forum for anyone wanting to resell tickets and that listings may be posted by individuals or other brokers. He said Ticketmaster has committed to removing all such listings manually before the official sale date of affected shows, and noted that presale listings for Cohen tickets have been removed.

The chiefs of Ticketmaster and Live Nation are in Washington this week testifying before Congress about their proposed merger and addressing state representatives’ concerns that the merger would result in a monopoly of the live entertainment industry.

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times