The glory days of seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for under $150 are apparently over.
Fans of the once-blue-collar New Jersey rock legend were seeing red Thursday morning when seats to his March 5 show at Xcel Energy Center went on sale via Ticketmaster's VerifiedFan program at prices as high as $2,000 and with very few lower than $250.
"Saw the prices, laughed uproariously, and moved on with my day," said Steve Rood, a frequent concertgoer from Prior Lake.
Those costs are three to four times what fans in the Twin Cities paid the last time Springsteen and E Street played Xcel Energy Center in 2016, when floor tickets were about $120 before fees. They were also a lot higher than the cost of his 2023 European dates, where many seats were available for under 200 Euros (equal to about $200 in U.S. dollars).
A look at the prices for the upcoming Xcel Center show found these offerings around 11 a.m. Thursday: $2,050 plus fees for second-row seats on the floor; $950 plus fees for the general admission "pit" in front of the stage; $790 plus fees for fifth row in Section 103 ("lower bowl") near the stage; $370-$275 for other floor seats; and $150 plus fees for random seats in the 200 levels ("nosebleeds").
Other U.S. cities on his 2023 are seeing floor seats top $4,000, sparking a lot of uproar on the fan site Backstreets: "This isn't right. Nearly $10,000 for two tickets halfway back to the arena," the superfan @BlogItAllNight posted on Twitter reacting to the prices in Tampa, Fla.
With Ticketmaster's parent company Live Nation serving as the promoter behind the U.S. tour dates, the VerifiedFan program was implemented for the tour ostensibly as a way to prevent ticket brokers/resellers from scooping them up instead of fans. However, many fans and industry watchers are starting to see VerifiedFan as Ticketmaster's way of joining the resellers rather than beating them, as the company jacks up prices based on demand.
These prices are comparable to what the Rolling Stones charged at U.S. Bank Stadium last year. Another recent show that caused a lot of sticker shock: VerfiedFan general-admission tickets to see red-hot teenage pop newcomer Olivia Rodrigo at the Armory in April were around $450.
In such cases, ticket prices usually go down as the concert date nears. However, given that it's the Boss' first tour with his old crew in six years — and there may not be many more such outings left in the 72-year-old rocker's career — a lot of fans don't want to risk being shut out.
"Pricey, but it could be the last time," said Kristi Edwards of Eagan, who paid $317 for her seat in Section 119 viewing the stage from the side.