Just hours after Bruce Springsteen issued an open letter to his fans on his Website, railing against Ticketmaster for mishandling the onsale of his Working on a Dream tour tickets earlier this week, the company has issued a statement apologizing to the Jersey legend and his colleagues.
In what's addressed as "An Open Letter of Apology to Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and the entire Springsteen Tour Team," Ticketmaster Entertainment CEO Irving Azoff says that the company decided to send some buyers to the company's secondary-ticketing company TicketsNow in an attempt to put more tickets into the hands of Bruce Springsteen fans. "While we were genuinely trying to do the right thing for fans in providing more choices when the tickets they requested from the primary on-sale were not available, we clearly missed the mark," Azoff writes.
Scores of Springsteen fans experienced difficulties on Ticketmaster's Website Tuesday morning, and after receiving error messages many were sent to TicketsNow, where ticket prices are inflated high above face value. "This redirection only occurred as a choice when we could not satisfy fans' specific search request for primary ticket inventory," writes Azoff, "but to make sure there is no misunderstanding in the future, we also publicly state that we will never again link to TicketsNow in a manner that can possibly create any confusion during a high-demand on-sale."
In an attempt to make amends with "confused and angry" fans, Ticketmaster is offering to refund the difference between the purchase price and face value of any tickets bought "inadvertently" on TicketsNow. "We recognize that we need to change our course," Azoff writes. "We have committed to Bruce and state publicly here that we have taken down all links for Bruce's shows directing fans from Ticketmaster to TicketsNow."
The Springsteen ticket debacle came during a busy news week in the ticketing world: Live Nation experienced problems during its new ticketing system's first major test — the anxiously anticipated Phish comeback tour. And earlier today the Wall Street Journal reported that a possible merger between Live Nation and Ticketmaster could become final as early as next week. Responding to that possibility, Springsteen told fans it would be "returning us to a near monopoly situation in music ticketing," which he and his team oppose.