U2's concert at TCF Bank Stadium sold out in a hurry, leaving many fans unhappy with the procedures.
By BOB VON STERNBERG, Star Tribune
People hoping to score tickets for U2's Twin Cities concert next summer most likely still haven't found what they're looking for.
Tickets for the concert at TCF Bank Stadium went on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday. Within minutes, only single seats were available at the websites of the merged ticket brokers Live Nation and Ticketmaster. It was sold out within two hours.
Dozens of U2 fans vented their frustrations on the Star Tribune's website, most often angry at commercial ticket brokers who routinely scoop up large numbers of tickets and resell them at a premium.
They railed about the 2007 state law that legalized ticket scalping in Minnesota, saying it keeps affordable tickets out of the hands of individual buyers.
Last year, state officials tried to come to music fans' aid by creating the "Hannah Montana" law that makes it illegal to use software that allows buyers to jump to the front of the online queue to buy up huge blocks of tickets.
Although the websites operated by Ticketmaster and Live Nation employ security measures intended to block ticket-buying robots known as "bots," it's not clear how effective they were Saturday.
Tickets ranged in price from $250 to $95, $55 and $30, plus fees.
Additional tickets were set aside by the University of Minnesota in pre-sale bundles for students and season ticket-holders to all Gophers teams.
The new stadium holds about 50,000 people for football games, and thousands more will be on the field for the June 27 concert.
The Hannah Montana law was inspired by her 2007 concert at Target Center that almost instantaneously sold out; at the same time, online resellers were offering tickets for $1,000 or more.
It was followed up this year with the "Bruce Springsteen law" that makes it a misdemeanor for a ticket seller to divert tickets from the initial public sale to a secondary seller, unless authorized by the event or venue.
Fans, seconded by the Boss himself, complained that Ticketmaster was diverting tickets into its own auction site, where tickets at a far higher price remain available.
That was the case Saturday, with the minimum bid for tickets set at $155 on that site.
Some fans were also angry at the band's management, which made pre-sale tickets available to fans who previously coughed up a $50 subscription fee to U2's online fan club.
And several said they plan to park outside the stadium and listen to the concert -- for free.
U2 kicked off the first leg of its 360° Tour in June and played in 44 cities, breaking attendance records along the way at the Rose Bowl and Giants Stadium.
When it resumes next year, it will play in 30 North American and European cities. A dozen of those concerts already are sold out, according to Live Nation.
Bob von Sternberg • 612-673-7184
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