Hannah Montana Draws Attention From The Feds

jharv | October 30, 2007 11:10 am

As the infamously sold out Hannah Montana tour continues leaving its trail of broken hearts and tear-stained Disney merchandise across the country, it has attracted the attention of Richmond Federal Reserve, which thinks ticket prices for the tour weren’t high enough to begin with, at least if the prices parents were willing to pay in the secondary market are any indication. The Fed then raises an interesting question: Should the entire big-money concert market just work like eBay?

[The Fed] urged rationing tickets to make sure that they get to ‘real’ fans, now that the old-fashioned solution of sorting the diehard supporters from mere profit-seeking ticket speculators — by making everyone line up to get tickets — has been overtaken by technology.

“One version would be a system in which a certain number of seats are auctioned off to the highest bidders, with the remaining ones sold for a flat price.

“This aids the promoter in not over- or underpricing tickets beforehand and more closely mimics a true market for high-valued seats,” the Richmond Fed said.

Of course, this doesn’t really solve the problem of modern day ticket scalping/broker resales at all, except in the sense that frustrated ticket buyers can once again feel like they’re getting gouged directly. And what’s to say all of those “remaining tickets sold for a flat price” won’t immediately wind up in the hands of brokers, which can then jack up the prices even higher than before since there will be fewer tickets available in the secondary market, meaning fans will be paying even more money for crappier seats. And the rip-off cycle can continue ad infinitum.

No Bailout For Hannah Montana Fans [Reuters]