Ticketmaster thinks I am a scammer. It thinks my friends are too.
Thursday morning, the second inclination of "Verified Fan" shut out thousands of Bruce Springsteen's truest fans, all eager beyond belief to see the highly anticipated "Springsteen on Broadway." The system claimed to weed out the resellers and scammers and give bonafide fans the best chance to get tickets to the limited engagement in the small Walter Kerr Theatre.
Only that's not what happened.
Fans created multiple Ticketmaster accounts just to get the chance at an access code. And upon the gut-wrenching email telling people they were on standby — or even worse, no response at all — fans checked their text messages every 10 seconds for hours looking for an access code that never came.
Several of those rare few who made it to the purchase stage were taken aback by ticket prices, reaching into $800 for a seat (Bruce's own concerts rarely fetched more than $150 for a seat retail price), while others complained of the usual Ticketmaster setbacks — timing out or missing out on seats.
Having seen no less than dozens of Bruce Springsteen concerts, all over the east coast, Verified Fan shut out me and my friends.
Alex Fischer, a Manhattan Springsteen fan, didn't get an access code. But he still went downtown from his Upper West Side apartment to try to see what he could do at the box office. Not surprisingly he was turned away, and was forced to contemplate how to afford a secondary market price that currently averages more than $1,000.
"We'll figure it out," Fischer, who went to see Springsteen in both Metlife Stadium and Citizens Bank Park last summer, said. "I may have to put $1,000 less into my retirement fund this year but we'll figure it out."
Interestingly, among a small sample size of Bruce Springsteen fans the ones more likely to receive access codes to see "Bruce on Broadway" were fans who bought tickets less often.
Diehards — the very folks who could camp out for hours in order to get close to Springsteen in the pit — are left with few options.
If NE1 has TKTS for 24 or 25 Nov please get in touch...I was unlucky, help my hungry heart, congrats if you were lucky. #SpringsteenBroadway— Chris Graham (@bull_graham01) September 7, 2017
Shut out again from #SpringsteenBroadway. I understand why there's a "verified fan" system. I can't understand why it isn't a better system.— Adam Cutler (@adcut) September 7, 2017
#SpringsteenBroadway so disappointed not to get tickets but the price!? Bruce, if you need the money, sack your accountant!— Rob Parsons (@robdparsons) September 7, 2017
Springsteen's residency on Broadway stretches from November to February. The lucky few who beat the system today will be there, while multitudes more will be listening for bootleg recordings on E Street Radio.