Jay-Z slammed scalpers on Tuesday who snapped up low-priced tickets for his 9/11 charity show at Madison Square Garden and began reselling them for a huge profit.
“We are truly disheartened that certain individuals would choose to benefit from what is meant to be a 100% charitable event,” he said in a statement.
“We do not support any profits made from reselling any ticket that was meant to be purchased by honest fans.”
Tickets to Friday’s show were purposely set low at $54.50 to make it accessible to fans struggling in tough economic times.
The proceeds were to benefit the widows and orphans of New York City cops and firefighters who died in the line of duty.
The approximately 20,000 tickets sold out in moments on Tuesday and started showing up on resale sites for $200 to $3,000 – inflated profits that will go into the scalpers’ pockets.
One site was offering tickets for $45,000 each.
“I don’t think that’s what Jay-Z’s intentions were,” said Maureen Brown, 48, of Harlem, one of several fans.
“I couldn’t even get seats in the nosebleeds,” she said, after spending 2-1/2 hours clicking her way through Ticketmaster’s Web site.
A presale for Citibank cardholders was supposed to last from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., but Brown said she kept getting a message that said no tickets were available.
“I’ve never had any problems any other time. So who is getting these tickets?” she asked.
Kevin Lee, 39, of Harlem, said he was told at 9:01 a.m. there were no tickets available. Five other family members and friends were also trying – and failing – to buy tickets.
“I think something fishy was going on,” Lee said. “I think the general public was really cut out. I guess you have to have deep pockets to get into this show.”
John Neary, treasurer of the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund, called the situation “a shame.”
“But I don’t think we can do anything about it,” he said. “This happens with an awful lot of shows.”
Jay-Z said he had taken steps to head off the ticket brokers.
“Tickets were consciously made available for sale as close to the concert date as possible to avoid traditional scalping,” his statement said.
For those who can’t be at the show – Jay-Z’s only New York concert this year – it will be broadcast live on the Fuse network.
Brown, who took off work Friday because she anticipated getting tickets for the show, said she might just go down to Madison Square Garden anyway.
“I want to go down there Friday and see who is getting these tickets,” she said.
( Excerpt from daily news)