Consumerwatch: Scoring tickets
Published Monday, June 18, 2012 5:45PM CST
Last Updated Monday, June 18, 2012 6:10PM CST
One of the biggest artists in the world is returning to Winnipeg this October, but many of his fans are not impressed with the way ticket sales to the event were handled.
Justin Bieber's MTS Centre concert sold out almost instantly, leaving many fans ticketless and unimpressed.
Carlina Urso, 14, saw Bieber in concert when he visited the city two years ago. She was even selected to go on stage with the teen idol.
So this year she tried to get tickets but lost out.
"Within seconds we were told it was completely sold out," said Maria Urso, Carlina's mother.
Maria and Carlina said they're devastated they won't be able to see the pop star in concert again.
"It just doesn't make any sense whatsoever – that on the general public date that would happen. Not in two minutes, but in seconds," Maria said.
Maria believes too many advance tickets were sold through fan clubs and other presale methods – leaving those who bought on the general public date very few tickets to vie for.
A spokesperson for Ticketmaster said the company can't disclose how many tickets are sold through pre-sales or fan clubs. The amount of tickets sold by that method is determined by the promoter and the venue itself, Ticketmaster said.
The ticket company added that no less than 80 per cent of tickets sold through Ticketmaster are awarded to the general public.
MTS Centre representative Kevin Donnelly said the problem is simply that there are more fans than seats. After the General Manager of MTS Centre put a few dozen tickets up for auction, some going for as high as $1,300 a pair, Donnelly said.
"In the case of Bieber, these tickets have not sold yet, so we're letting the market determine the very first price of these tickets," said Donnelly.
Still, fans like Maria and Carlina said they are frustrated tickets to high-profile concerts like Bieber's are either going to the highest bidder or ending up on resale sites at double or triple the face value.
"That's just not right. The price is ridiculous," said Carlina. "That won't be an option."
For now, Carlina said her only chance to see Bieber at his October concert will be to get ahold of "last minute" tickets closer to the show in the fall.
Donnelly advises anyone trying to get tickets to the concert not to purchase them from resale websites. Donnelly said when Roger Waters visited Winnipeg recently the venue had to turn away 1,600 tickets to the show because they were invalid.