On Wednesday I read in the paper that Chris Rock had just announced a show in Toronto, and tickets were going on sale today (Friday). This morning I went at 7:00 a.m. to line up (tickets went on sale at 10:00). I was the first guy in line, and after waiting for three hours I was really lucky to get two good seats, right in the centre of the very front row – they’re the best concert tickets I’ve ever got. OK, so why do I hate brokers? Check this out: I paid $75 for each ticket at the box office. Total price for 2 tickets = $150.00 Canadian. Right now, ticket brokers are asking $375(US) PER TICKET, and that’s for seats in row B (behind mine!) Total price for 2 tickets = $1,015.96 Canadian. That’s almost SEVEN times the face value! They’re asking $210 (each) for some of the worst seats in the house! This is outrageous and completely unfair. The show sold out in about half an hour, which isn’t surprising since the brokers just buy up massive amounts. How do I know this? There was a broker behind me in line today, named Mike. He was a guy with chipped teeth and a big gut who wore a black shirt and a lot of gold jewellery. He was talking on his cell phone the entire time, so I overheard most of his conversation and got a decent idea of how these guys operate: First, his partner (a guy named Wally) showed up about three minutes before tickets went on sale, and he let him in line. As soon as tickets went on sale they both bought the maximum (six tickets each) while simultaneously calling on their cell phones to place credit card orders. I noticed that he had several different credit cards (since you can only do a maximum of six tickets on each card) and I heard them planning to drive to two other nearby ticketmaster outlets to get all the tickets they could. Assuming they both used three credit cards and hit three box office windows, they could have got 72 tickets between the two of them. I’m sure they also had a dude sitting at home and ordering through ticketmaster.com too - no wonder the show sold out so fast! I just think it’s brutal that two or three guys can buy up a hundred tickets for a major event like this in about fifteen minutes. That’s one twentieth of all the seats available. And of course the real fans, the people who just want to see Chris Rock, get screwed because now their options are limited to paying a huge fee at a broker or not going to the show at all. It honestly made me feel good to say that I only wanted two tickets – I know that if I had been greedy I wouldn’t have been able to get into the front row, so a small part of me is happy that Mike and Wally didn’t get the very best seats... I’m sure if they did, the prices would be adjusted accordingly to $450 each. The same thing happened when Jerry Seinfeld came here last year. I didn’t hear about it until the day tickets were being sold, and of course, it sold out instantly. Luckily he added two more shows, and I was able to line up (at 5:00 a.m. that time!) to secure two seats. I want to know what we can do about brokers, to shut them down, and put them out of business. I know it doesn’t help that Ticketmaster has basically turned into a broker itself by implementing a plan to auction the best seats off, so that the “biggest fans” can get them. It’s funny how they mistake the richest fans for the biggest fans, but so long as they’re making money I guess they don’t care. Would a policy work where they took down one name for each pair of tickets purchased, and someone would need to show ID at the door to be admitted? It seems a bit cumbersome, and I doubt Ticketmaster would bother to implement anything like that. This is something that bothers me quite a lot! Does anyone else have any opinions or suggestions about positive things that can be done to put tickets into the hands of actual fans, instead of these con men? I'll enjoy these front row seats, since with Ticketmaster's new policy I don't know if I'll ever be sitting in the front row again.