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View Full Version : $480 tix for The Producers...how does this stop scalpers?


toadspittle
10-26-2001, 08:55 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/26/arts/theater/26PROD.html


Saying they want to cut into the
lucrative market dominated by
ticket scalpers, the producers of "The
Producers" are preparing to set aside
at least 50 seats every performance
and charge the unprecedented
amount of $480 a ticket.

Huh? How does this cut into the scalpers' market? Will these tickets be too expensive for scalpers to buy? Or do they think that people won't buy tickets that scalpers mark up from $480 to $740 (they're already paying $742.50 for some tickets)? All I can see is that this will cost everyone more money.

Or are the show's producers just looking to make a bigger profit on the scalpers' final price? i.e., "since people will pay $740 a ticket, why shouldn't we get $480 of that, rather than only $100?"

Keeve
10-26-2001, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by toadspittle
Or do they think that people won't buy tickets that scalpers mark up from $480 to $740 (they're already paying $742.50 for some tickets)? ... Or are the show's producers just looking to make a bigger profit on the scalpers' final price? i.e., "since people will pay $740 a ticket, why shouldn't we get $480 of that, rather than only $100?" Simpler question first: Yes, they do want a bigger chunk of the scalper's profit, as they clearly explained in the article. Why not? Aren't they entitled to it?

Now, while some tickets have been sold for over $700, my bet is that those are the exception, and most scalped tickets went for less than that. My guess is that The Producers aimed for a figure near the price of the average scalped ticket. Customers will prefer these tickets for several reasons, including the desire to do things honestly, and a wider range of available seats and performances, not being tied down to the couple of specific tickets that a scalper has available.

Supply and demand, buddy. This should have been done decades ago, and I remember asking this very question as a kid. I understand that the theater industry wants to be noble and civic-minded by pricing their tickets at a level that their customers can afford, and that is very commendable. But it doesn't work. The people who are willing to pay high prices will do so. Why should all that money go to middlemen (whether they be legal ticket brokers or not), rather than to the investors, producers, and performers?

And keep in mind that (at this stage, at least) only 50 seats at each performance will go for the inflated prices.

pezpunk
10-26-2001, 10:10 AM
Whew! I thought you meant the 80's band The Producers. (http://theproducers.org/prodband.htm) I was thinking "who the hell would pay $480 to see them!?!?!?!?!

what's he got that I aint got? He's got you! That's what he's got thats quite a lot.

toadspittle
10-26-2001, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by Keeve
Customers will prefer these tickets for several reasons, including the desire to do things honestly, and a wider range of available seats and performances, not being tied down to the couple of specific tickets that a scalper has available.

Maybe I'm not getting the reason why people go to scalpers (since I've never done so). Are you saying that people are in the habit of passing up available legitimate tickets in favor of scalped ones? I thought that the only reason people bought scalped tickets was b/c there were NO MORE legitimate tickets available. So again, what does this price increase accomplish? Does it make the tickets too expensive for scalpers to bother with (since they'll have too small a profit margin), or are the producers just throwing up their hands and saying, "well, we KNOW that all of our tickets are going to get bought up by scalpers anyway, so we might as well make the most money off of them as we can." If it's something else going on entirely, please point it out to me.

Keeve
10-26-2001, 11:48 AM
Yes, toadspittle, it 's a combination of all your ideas. Plus, to address your question about availability (that people go to scalpers when no more legitimate tickets are available) since there are people who are willing to pay $100 but are not willing to pay $480, this will create a real availability for the expensive legitimate tickets.

Or, what might happen is that the scalpers will find a market for $1000 tickets. But I imagine that market will be smaller than the current $700 market. And if not, perhaps the official price will inflate too.

Telemark
10-26-2001, 05:48 PM
I heard an interview with one of the producers of "The Producers" tonight on NPR, Tom Vertell. He basically said that there is a small market for people to buy very expensive tickets. They want good seats and the ability to make plans ahead of time. They are usually large companies, the same folks who buy luxury boxes at sporting events.

With these special seats, that can cater to that audience directly, without going through the uncertainty of scalpers. He said that if they scalp these tickets (and that's certainly possible) they will be so expensive that the market will be too small for that much outlay of cash.

BTW, these 50 seats per show are new. They were part of an AMEX program for Gold and Platinum card owners which has now expired. They've never been available to the public before.

And yes, he said they want to get the money rather than the scalpers. The lowest price tickets are $25, and they sell 18 SRO seats each day for $25 as well.