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Super Bowl Fans and Swifties Agree: Time to ‘Shake Off’ Ticketmaster

Taylor Swift may be able to swoop in from a concert stage in Tokyo to a box seat in Las Vegas and cheer for her boyfriend Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs. But if you want to see Super Bowl LVIII in person, you’re almost certainly going to have to use – and pay – Ticketmaster to buy your seats.

And you’ll want to be holding onto your seat when you see the cost.

InsideSources reviewed ticket prices mid-afternoon on Wednesday, Jan. 31, and found the lowest face value Super Bowl tickets from Ticketmaster cost $7,495 – before the added “convenience” fees.

For a seat closer to the action, say near the end zone, you’ll have to fork out $14,995 — plus an additional $3,186.44 in Ticketmaster fees. Then, just for good measure, Ticketmaster throws in another $2.95 per-ticket processing fee, too.

You can look for other options, but Ticketmaster is the official ticket marketplace of the NFL and owns 93 percent of NFL stadium ticketing contracts.

“To the average fan, the cost of going to the Super Bowl looks eye-watering,” said John Breyault, vice president of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud for the National Consumers League. “It’s frustrating that they can’t get in to see their team for less than the cost of some college tuitions. But that’s the nature of sports and major events like the Super Bowl.”

If you’d rather skip the game and just see Taylor Swift in concert, the situation is similar. Ticketmaster and its sister company, Live Nation, control ticketing at 70 to 80 percent of major U.S. concert venues, according to estimates cited by senators in a Judiciary Committee hearing last year.

A recent story in American Prospect describes Ticketmaster’s track record as a “40-year saga of kickbacks, threats, political maneuvering, and the humiliation of Pearl Jam.”

“… [T]he strange and awesome power of Ticketmaster, a company built around the novelty of a printer that could instantaneously produce a cardboard entry pass into thousands of concerts from the convenience of the nearest Sam Goody, grew as every other part of the [music] business seemed to shrivel,” according to the American Prospect article. “Ticketmaster’s parent company is projected to gross $16 billion in 2022, more than the entire U.S. record industry grossed in 2021. Despite sponsoring almost no live events in the year following the outbreak of the pandemic, its stock price went up.”

To make sure Live Nation and Ticketmaster squeeze every cent they can out of concertgoers, they even own the bottled water brand Liquid Death Mountain Water, which, as part of its equity deal, “will only sell Liquid Death across its venues and festivals across the United States for a period of time.”

Because of the far-reaching impact of LiveNation’s and Ticketmaster’s policies, scrutiny is coming from both sides of the political aisle.

“This is all the definition of monopoly,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in last year’s Judiciary Committee hearing.

“The whole concert ticket system is a mess. It’s a monopolist mess” due to Live Nation’s “monopolistic control,” added Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

And Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) accused Ticketmaster of “forcing everyone in the resale market to come into [Ticketmaster’s] ecosystem.”

“This is how monopolies work,” Hawley said. “You leverage market power in one market to get market power in another market — and it looks like you’re doing that in, frankly, multiple markets.”

In December, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the TICKET Act in a 45-0 vote. The “Transparency In Charges for Key Events Ticketing Act” requires the total price of a ticket – service, processing, and other fees – to be displayed upfront. That is called “all-in pricing” and keeps consumers from guessing at fees as they’re digging out their credit card to enter the numbers, Breyault said.

The legislation also bans speculative ticketing, which is when a seller offers up a ticket they don’t possess and guarantees refunds for canceled and postponed events.

“The price you see advertised is the same price you pay at the end of the transaction,” Breyault said of all-in pricing. “Most consumers respond well to that. That could bring ticket prices down.”

Super Bowl tickets aside, the business model of Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, depends on being the biggest game in town. Many say it’s really the only game, although company officials deny that they are a monopoly.

“We absolutely believe the ticketing business has never been more competitive,” Live Nation President Joe Berchtold told the U.S. Senate.

Berchtold defended the company against a flurry of bipartisan questioning during a three-hour hearing in which it was accused of bullying competitors and holding an unfair advantage due to its sheer size over smaller ticketing platforms and independent concert and sports venues, artists, and teams. Berchtold blamed bots for many of the issues and said that was an issue for Congress.

Ticketmaster and other companies agreed last summer to offer all-in pricing following a meeting with the White House. Breyault, though, said doubts remain as to whether the platform is following through on that promise for every event. For the Super Bowl, consumers must click through three separate screens before learning the complete ticket price, which includes Ticketmaster’s service fees and order processing fee.

“Let’s make it easier for consumers to get access to cheaper tickets,” Breyault said, sounding the clarion call that has been no doubt been echoed by tens of thousands of Chiefs and 49ers fans as the Super Bowl approaches.

Diana Moss, vice president and director of Competition Policy for the Progressive Policy Institute, acknowledged prices for this year’s Super Bowl will be higher than other games, regardless of public policy, due to the high interest in the contest and the NFL’s hot, new celebrity couple.

“This is a very high-demand event,” Moss said. Still, the underlying problem of the secondary market remains.

“There is little incentive to improve the ticketing markets or distribution platforms,” Moss said. “It’s the hallmark of a broken market. [Officials] need to look at the monopoly for all the harm that is being inflicted on consumers.”

Media reports in July 2023 indicated the Justice Department was planning to file an antitrust case against Live Nation and Ticketmaster by the end of last year. While no case has surfaced, observers say that if there is a lawsuit and the government prevails, that could lead to a breakup of the behemoth.

But that is little solace to football fans who wonder whether it’s worth forsaking a couple of months’ rent to afford just Ticketmaster’s service fees.

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Philly Fans Ranked 21st in NFL? You Gotta Be Kidding!

Eagles fans are throwing a flag on a new study that claims to show Pittsburgh has America’s best pro football fans, while Philadelphia ranks 21st — behind Las Vegas, who have hosted the Raiders for less time than Joe Biden has spent as president.

Say, what?

The analysis is from, which looked at measurements like attendance, ticket prices, and how much social media traffic teams generated. Pittsburgh sits atop the list, followed by Green Bay and Dallas. Kansas City, whose Chiefs will face the Eagles on Sunday in Super Bowl LVII, is seventh.

Whatever their calculation, Philly fans in the Delaware Valley say they fumbled it.

“I have been going to Eagles games since 1973 when my father got season tickets for the family,” said Christine Flowers, a local lawyer and frequent contributor to DVJournal. “Our seats were two rows down from the legendary 700 Section, and I have memories of drunken men rolling down the seats into my lap. (They were Eagles fans, so it was okay. It would have been a different matter if they rooted for Dallas).

“I have gone to Wing Bowls, frozen my digits off at Monday Night Games in December, dyed my hair green-on purpose — and offered my hypothetical firstborn to the gods of football in hopes of a Super Bowl win. Fortunately, it became unnecessary. And I am by no means the craziest fan around. ”

State Sen. Frank Farry (R-Bucks) agreed.

“You can’t deny that Philadelphia has some of the most passionate and loyal sports fans around. We were fortunate enough to experience it just a few months ago when the Phillies were in the World Series. It was electric. You can feel that energy and excitement again leading up to the Super Bowl. It’s a great time to be a Philadelphia sports fan,” Farry said.

Sen. Frank Farry in his district office in Bucks County, PA.

Eagles fans argue their passions run deep, forged by years of die-hard support for a team that often didn’t deliver on the field.

Paul Rhodes grew up in Horsham in Montgomery County rooting for some mediocre (to put it kindly) Eagles teams. He has lived in Arizona for 44 years, but his understanding of the mindset of Eagles devotees remains.

“We grew up in a blue-collar city,” Rhodes said. “We didn’t have much to be proud of. The Eagles were terrible. But, we were at the games. It was a badge of honor.”

Rhodes compares Eagles fans to those in Green Bay, another city with a passionate fan base.

“Green Bay fans are tremendously loyal,” he said. “They are a blue-collar town of 110,000 people. They bleed green.

“We are from a blue-collar town. Most people don’t move more than 50 miles away from the town they grew up in. They are proud of their team, good, bad, or indifferent.”

Ukee Washington has been at KYW-TV for 36 years. The Dover, Del. native has a deep understanding of Philadelphia sports’ mindset fans in general and Eagles fans in particular.

“Eagles Nation is second to none in my opinion,” he said. “We are a proud, passionate group, and that enthusiasm begins at birth.”

Like Rhodes, Washington cited the blue-collar mindset of the Eagles’ fan base.

“Philadelphia is a hardworking blue-collar town that expects our teams to work extremely hard,” he said, “With no excuses and owning up to the tough times, while at the same time learning from mistakes to make it better.”

Washington acknowledged that from time to time the passion of Eagles fans boils over.

“The passion and knowledge (of fans) can at times seem intimidating,” he said, “with a few fans on occasion maybe going overboard a bit, but it’s all part of the psychological warfare that’s part of the game.

“That’s the vibe of being a true fan. We absolutely love our teams and would go through a brick wall for all of them.”

If anything, Eagles fans have a reputation for being too passionate. In fact, those passions — on ugly display at a Monday Night Football game in 1997 — led to the creation of “Eagles Court.” A jail, a courtroom, and a judge, all open and on hand at Veterans Stadium at game time.

Montgomery County resident Phil Gianficaro doesn’t dispute that Eagles fans love their team. But he said outsiders find the self-regard of the team’s local supporters a bit galling.

“What (fans in other cities) don’t buy is Eagles fans’ insistence that their passion is unequaled anywhere in the NFL, and insisting otherwise calls into question one’s intelligence. Go to Kansas City. Go to Seattle. They are insanely crazy about their teams,” Gianficaro said.

And at least one Chiefs fan says Eagle supporters aren’t the out-of-control maniacs of the stereotype. Heather Whitten lives in upstate New York but is a diehard Chiefs supporter. In 2021 she attended a Chiefs-Eagles game at Lincoln Financial Field attired in Chiefs gear. She says that other than some good-natured teasing she had no problems with the Eagles fans. (Then again, her Chiefs won 42-30.)

“In my experience, Eagles fans get a bad rap,” Whitten said.

Flowers was adamant, however, that when it comes to loyalty, passion, and commitment, Bleeding Green Nation is in a league of its own.

“Anyone who thinks that the Eagles fans are not head and feathers above any other sports creature, including the Steelers, is as crazy as the guy who hired Chip Kelly as head coach.”

Charlie O’Neill, a local GOP consultant, blamed “anti-Philly bias.”

“But like the song says, ‘No one likes us, we don’t care.'”

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Acting Attorney General Henry Warns of Super Bowl LVII Scams

From a press release

Acting Attorney General Michelle Henry and her office’s Bureau of Consumer Protection issued a warning to Pennsylvanians to be alert for scams when purchasing Super Bowl LII tickets or other products relating to the event. Consumers and sports fans can be scammed and end up buying fraudulent tickets or products without realizing it.

“Everyone enjoys the Super Bowl, and in Pennsylvania, we are all excited that the Philadelphia Eagles are heading to the big game again,” Acting Attorney General Henry said. “However, big sporting events like the Super Bowl also attract scam artists, and our Bureau of Consumer Protection stands ready to protect consumers if something goes wrong with their ticket purchases.”

Acting Attorney General Henry and the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection are asking Pennsylvania consumers to follow these tips when buying Super Bowl tickets or Super Bowl-related merchandise:

Watch the websites you visit. As a consumer, you should not click on banner ads or pop-ups on a legitimate website (like StubHub or Ticketmaster) that may take you to a different website. You lose all protections and guarantees once you leave a legitimate website in favor of discounted tickets or other promises somewhere else.

Review your cart before checking out when purchasing tickets through a website. Many online ticket resale platforms will charge fees at checkout.  Review your purchase prior to hitting the final checkout button for any additional charges and fees added to the final purchase price.

Be cautious of using search engines to find potential ticket sellers. Less reputable websites offering ticket sales will ramp up advertising before events like the Super Bowl, increasing their website traffic. Stick to websites you are familiar with, and read the URL of the website you visit. Scam artists often make minor changes to an actual website’s URL to bring a false sense of legitimacy to the website – a practice known as spoofing. Look for spelling or grammatical mistakes – a tip-off to fake websites.

Avoid buying tickets from someone you have not met. Don’t buy tickets from a seller you don’t know. Always try to conduct any ticket purchase in a safe, well lit area. Consumers can also search for “Safe Transaction Locations” online. Police stations provide an environment for safe transactions.

Be wary of sellers asking for payment in gift cards, money orders, cryptocurrency or wire transfers, especially over the phone. Consumers should use their credit cards when possible to protect themselves from scammers and fraud.

The Bureau of Consumer Protection also advises that if you have made an unfulfilled purchase with your credit card, to contact the credit card company and dispute the charge immediately.

Pennsylvanians who believe they have been victims of a Super Bowl ticket, travel service or merchandise scam can file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Victims can email: [email protected] or call 800-441-2555.

Like The Team’s Defense, Eagles Tickets Tough to Score

Fans hoping to score tickets to Sunday’s NFC Championship Game between the Eagles and the San Francisco 49’er are largely out of luck.

Tickets were available via Ticketmaster Tuesday morning but were gone within a few minutes. Most fans who had logged onto the site were informed virtually there were no tickets available at the appointed hour.

“A joke.” That’s how Horsham resident and Eagles fan Sue Wilson described the process.

“I signed on and it said ‘Tickets for this event are not available until 10 o’clock,’” she recalled, and I asked, ‘Do you want to go into a waiting room?’

But at the stroke of ten, Wilson was informed no tickets were available. Most of them had been scooped up, likely by bots and would up in the hands of resale agents or scalpers (which many consider one and the same).

The process left Wilson frustrated. “It’s no longer possible for the normal person to log onto the site (and get tickets),” she said.

As of Wednesday morning, the best option for fans determined to be at Lincoln Financial Field for Sunday’s game (3 p.m. kickoff) was likely the resale market. But they should be prepared to part with a hefty sum of cash.

The cheapest ticket on StubHub on Wednesday listed for $626, a price that did not include a service charge that was reportedly double what it was during the regular season. The asking price for the most expensive ticket on the StubHub site was $5,396.

Seat Geek, another resale outlet, listed tickets from $501 to $8,710 each, before the service charge.

On Thursday afternoon advertised seats for the Eagles-49er’s game for $573 and standing-room tickets for $461. By contrast, tickets for the AFC Championship Game in Kansas City between the Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals were available on the same site for “just” $247.

And there are tickets available outside the normal resale outlets. In the course of researching this story several people reach out to this writer with tickets available. (Full disclosure; he will be watching Sunday’s game from the comfort of his brother in-law’s den).

And some fans are willing to pay any price.

“A friend of my sister in-law has a club box,” Wilson said. “They were offered $77,000 for it for Sunday’s game. You’re talking a hunk of change.

“I would never pay that for any entertainment experience.”

All this will pale in comparison to what will ensue if the Eagles win on Sunday and earn a place in the Super Bowl, which is scheduled for February 12 in Glendale, Arizona. Over the course of almost six decades (the first Super Bowl was played in January of 1967, although it wasn’t called the Super Bowl then) the game has become America’s biggest one-day sporting spectacle.

The numbers surrounding Super Bowl LVII (it’s the NFL’s idea to use Roman numerals) are staggering. According to Betway, some 109.9 million people will watch the game on Fox. It estimates that a 30-second commercial on the telecast will cost an advertiser $7 million.

There will be lots and lots of commercials and with the extra timeouts inserted into the telecast– specifically to allow for more commercials, plus with the lengthy halftime show the game itself will likely drag on interminably.

But fans watching on TV, whether at home or in a bar or a restaurant with friends may be the lucky ones, considering the out-of-pocket cost of attending the game in person.

The average cost of a ticket to the upcoming Super Bowl is $9,341, according to Betway. Add to that the cost of lodging, food, entertainment, plus the cost of traveling to Arizona and it becomes clear that being on site for the game requires a substantial investment.

But diehard Eagles fans are prepared to make that investment and more. Wilson’s brother, an Eagles season ticketholder, was in Minneapolis when the Eagles won the Super Bowl in February of 2018.

“It was a lifetime experience,” Wilson recalls. “Being a season ticketholder, he got a chance to buy tickets and he did.”

The cost of that Super Bowl ticket that year? $12,000.


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