High Ticket Prices Under Scrutiny For 'Hannah Montana'
OAKLAND, Calif. Oct. 9, 2007 (KGO) -- If you think getting tickets to a Springsteen concert is tough, just try to get seats to a Hannah Montana performance. The pop star is coming to the Bay Area next month, but in some cases, buying a used car may be cheaper. That and other pricey tickets are now catching the attention of investigators.
When tickets went on sale for Hannah Montana's show at the Oracle Arena the face value was $25 to $60 dollars. Now one Bay Area parent has paid more than $1,000 dollars for a ticket to see Hannah Montana.
The highest priced scalped ticket in America is for Hanna Montana. In real life her name is Miley Cyrus and she is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus.
Hannah Montana is a TV show on the Disney Channel. The plot has an average teenage girl named Miley Stewart transforming by night into a rock star named Hannah Montana.
Jamie Abeles and Allegra Agabian know Hanna's songs and dances. When Jamie asked for Hannah tickets for her birthday her dad shelled out hundreds of dollars per ticket for excellent seats.
"Simple supply and demand, people want to go to the show. The kids are really excited about it and supply is very limited," said Doug Abeles, Hannah Montana ticket buyer.
The highest priced Bay Area ticket went for $1,258 dollars - so far. Jamie's mom sees a deeper meaning to the Hannah hysteria.
"We're living in a time right now where parents will do anything or pay anything not to disappoint their kids and unfortunately that materialistic culture is filtering down to the children," said Vicki Abeles, Hannah Montana ticket buyer.
San Francisco State Electronic Arts Professor Melissa Camacho considers Hannah the queen of tween - that's the age group between about 8 and 12.
"Kids who watch Mickey Mouse grow up and they need to have something to watch besides these cartoon characters - beyond The Wiggles and beyond Teletubbies," said Melissa Camacho, Ph.D., San Francisco State University.
And as far the price parents are paying for tickets.
"I think they themselves are surprised and they are now saying, 'we made a promise, now let's see what we can do to get the kids there,'" said Melissa Camacho, Ph.D..
"I'm not sure who's more popular - Joe Montana or Hannah Montana," said Sean Pate, StubHub! Spokesman.
StubHub is a website, which for a fee, allows folks to sell and buy concert tickets. They're seeing tickets going for ten times face value or more. A practice under investigation in a couple of states and StubHub is named in the investigations, but the company does not buy sell or set prices for tickets.
"We advise buyers to be patient and watch the market. It is very much like the stock market, you might be able to find deals as the show approaches," said Sean Pate.
Investigators are really interested in finding out how a 10,000 seat venue sells out in less then four minutes. They're looking into software which allows brokers to buy up hundreds of the best tickets the moment they go on sale and then sell them at hundreds of dollars profit per ticket.
If it is any conciliation, the average ticket for the Oakland Hannah Montana show is $160 on StubHub; in New York City the average is over $400 dollars.
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