Ticket Sale Wrap Up for the First 2024 Shows
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2023-10-25)
Today the tickets for the newly announced January and February dates at Sphere went on general sale. Overall the process seems to have gone smoother for many U2 fans this time around, it helps that there is more familiarity with the venue, the seating and views, and other elements of the process. Things still aren’t perfect, and the use of on demand pricing via the Platinum seats continues. Our wrap up of the general sales and fan club offers so far is below.
The fan club pre-sale once again used a system where you input a request for seats on various nights, and in various areas, and you found out later what tickets were assigned to you. This is similar to the old system used by Propaganda when we mailed in our requests, and it was also in use for Bono’s book tour. Like the pre-sales for the Fall shows, Platinum pricing was not in effect for the pre-sale, and all tickets were available at face value.
The face value remained the same, with tickets ranging from $140 to $505 across the venue in the fan club sale, but the seating map has changed, and more seats in the venue were at the higher price points. (All of the 200 section is now at the highest price point, where as in the Spring, only the middle four sections were at the highest price point as one example.)
Although overall the pre-sale seemed to get fans what they wanted, several fans did strike out. Even those with long standing subscriptions going back to the Propaganda days in some cases reported not getting any of their requests fulfilled. Some fans in the newer subscriber tier, “Violet”, were successful at getting requests fulfilled, so seniority alone is not the only factor at play, and those choosing more popular show dates or ticket types may have not had success.
But overall, the fan club route seemed more successful in general this time out for fans. Sadly not everyone was able to get tickets in this manner.
When the first shows went on sale in April, no one knew that many seats in the 100 levels were obstructed by an overhang. While the views of the band on the stage are some of the best in the house when it comes to seats, the fact that there is a level of seats directly overhead means you cannot see a good portion of the screen. When the December shows were announced these seats now were marked “Full view of the band and stage – Limited view of Sphere screen” but only row 30 and up were marked. Now that the shows have started, fans have seen these seats, and have found the limited view seating starts much lower down in the 100 level section. Ticketmaster has updated the seats that are marked limited view for these new sales, and the marked “limited view” seats now start with row 25 in each section in the 100s. This covers most of the issues, however, section 101/102 and 109/110 have a bit more blocked than others, and there may still be some blocked views not being included in these Ticketmaster warnings for those end sections. It looks like tickets from row 25 back were not included in the offerings to the fan club.
Today’s on-sales were staggered in time. They didn’t all go on sale at one time, which was nice, it allowed you to try for the early shows, and if unsuccessful try again for some of the later shows. The first two shows, January 26 and 27, went on sale at 11am PT. January 31 as well as February 2 and 3 went on sale at noon. February 7, 9 and 10 went on sale at 1pm, and the remaining shows went on sale at 2pm (February 15, 17, 18).
You were helpfully reminded that there were other shows on-sale five minutes in if you were still in the waiting room at that time.
One other big change with these new shows? Ticketmaster has turned on the resale option for seats. Which means you can resell your tickets to someone else directly through Ticketmaster for these new shows, which was never an option for the Fall shows. But that means as soon as tickets went on sale, resale tickets started popping up for sale at crazy prices. Not to be outdone, Ticketmaster also had Platinum pricing in effect for the tickets for seats. Between resale, and platinum pricing it was difficult to find seats which weren’t jacked way up in price, unless you wanted those previous mentioned limited view seats. (They were slightly cheaper this time out, coming up at $466 for price as well.)
If you look to the right, you could turn off the resale seats, the Platinum pricing, and the limited view seats. A few seats in all price levels were showing at face value when we were in, but far less than had the Platinum pricing for sure. It looked as these were being sold new seats in some of these sections were popping up, so keep on trying.
What does Platinum pricing look like? Well a face value seat at $466 in the 200 section, was now showing up for $1484 with the Platinum pricing added. Three times the price at face value, and this was Ticketmaster charging these prices.
We were unsuccessful with any of our own attempts we made to buy GA today. They were all sold out by the time we made it through the queue into the purchase area. Getting into the queue half an hour before things went on sale meant we were 1222 in the queue when tickets went on sale, but alas, demand rapidly consumed those tickets and after ten minutes of waiting, we were told that things were sold out. Purchasing seats was an easier experience, and there likely will be plenty of seats available in the weeks leading up to these shows. (As well, each night before the show, there’s a GA drop, meaning if you can do last minute, they often do become available just before show time in small amounts.)
We can however, confirm that some GA’s were available at face value in today’s sales. They did go quick.
One thing to note, Verified Fan, was not used for these sales. Anyone could access them when they went on sale, regardless if they had been verified or not in the past. For the first round of shows Verified fan was in use for ticket sales and many fans reported never being given the change to even try for tickets. Unlike those sales, everyone could try today.
Finally we’ve seen some questions about the different sections on GA tickets for these new shows. They are labelled section GA01, GA02 etc. This notation is for accounting purposes and to keep track of tickets sold, but there is no real world separation at the shows. Tickets were marked the same way for the earlier shows which are happening now, and all normal GA tickets use the same entrance and enter into the same spot. (There is a separate VIP entrance for those who buy GA via a package, those are likewise numbered with the different section numbers.)