ASSOCIATED PRESS: Two New York-area lawmakers called Sunday for a federal investigation into Ticketmaster for sending fans who wanted Bruce Springsteen tickets to its own ticket reselling Web site where the tickets cost much more. “It was a classic bait-and-switch,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. “We don’t have the tickets at $75, but maybe this site has them at $200.” Tickets for Springsteen’s upcoming tour went on sale at 10 a.m. last Monday, and many fans who went online to buy tickets were immediately directed to Ticketmaster’s reselling site, TicketsNow. Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., said TicketsNow was selling the tickets at several times their face value. He questioned how TicketsNow acquired the tickets as soon as they went on sale.
“People simply want to be told the truth and not be scammed,” Pascrell said.After Springsteen himself complained about the TicketsNow markup, Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. CEO Irving Azoff apologized and said the company would no longer direct fans to the subsidiary. But Schumer and Pascrell, speaking in front of Madison Square Garden, said the apology left questions unanswered, and they said the Federal Trade Commission should investigate the matter.
A spokesman for Ticketmaster did not return a phone call Sunday seeking comment. Schumer and Pascrell also said they were concerned about reports of a planned merger between Ticketmaster and concert promoter Live Nation Inc. “If the two entities were to merge, the sale of tickets, control of concert venues, and the representation of artists in those venues would be controlled by one organization, a potential problem for ticket buyers who could see prices skyrocket,” Schumer said. MORE
TANGENTIALLY RELATED: Philly Cops Nab 35 Scofflaws In Overnight Raids
THE SOURCE: Thirty-five people were arrested, handcuffed and taken to Philadelphia Traffic Court overnight, including a couple who together allegedly owed more than $21,000, according to David Lawrence, chief adminstrator of Philadelphia’s courts. All together, the 35 defendants had $82,000 in unpaid fines, Lawrence said. That’s an average of more than $2,000 each. The sweep by officers of the Warrant Service Unit, the court system’s law-enforcement arm, started just before midnight and included homes in several northeastern police districts, along a corridor flanked by Roosevelt Boulevard and I-95. The top offender, Kevin Reichart of the 6700 block of Marsden Street, owned $21,095, Lawrence said. While picking him up, officers also took into custody Mary Reichart of the same address. She owed $390 for three tickets, Lawrence said. “As to whether it’s going to be a continuing saga, I’m going to keep that a secret,” he said. Don’t want to tip those scofflaws off. MORE
KILLADELPHIA: Suicide Rate Jumps 32%
INQUIRER: Suicides in Philadelphia rose sharply last year, a disturbing statistic that experts say they are trying to understand. The 32 percent increase in self-inflicted deaths reflects higher numbers at virtually every age and among nearly all racial and ethnic groups. Whites and men – particularly young and middle-aged men – make up the vast majority of cases. Women were up the most by percentage. “We are concerned,” said Deputy Mayor and Health Commissioner Donald Schwarz, who called the increase “extraordinary.” MORE