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Emails uncover how ticket brokers get first look

Emails from ticket reseller DTI Management reveal preferential treatment to touts after giving them first access to tickets for big stadium gigs.

According to emails obtained by Billboard, a week prior to when country star Eric Church’s (pictured) Staples Center tour tickets went on sale to the public, DTI notified ticket brokers of an opportunity to buy passes for resale.

The emails sent in October this year state that brokers would need to order a minimum of 60 seats at $137 (£108/€121) each, which is the face value of the ticket.

“Exclusively for active DTI members, I have a small window to help you acquire Eric Church,” wrote Jason Lai, vice-president of partnerships at DTI Management, in the email, according to Billboard.

Lai added: “Due to the fact that it is Eric Church, there are no guarantees of the request being fulfilled.”

Lai reportedly understood that Church would struggle to cancel any tickets being offered for his LA shows because they were part of Staples Center’s Premier section. The 2,500 seats along the upper perimeter of the lower bowl are first offered for purchase by Staples Center owner AEG to individuals who have already paid as much as $18,000 per seat for tickets to the four sports teams that play at the arena.

Fielding Logan, who heads touring for Q Prime South, said in a statement to Billboard: “Given that Eric Church works so hard to make sure that great seats go to real fans at face value, it’s disconcerting and incredibly frustrating to hear that venues may directly distribute large numbers of tickets to huge resellers.”

He added that he was “disappointed but not surprised” to learn about DTI’s access. “We’ve always said resellers like DTI have more experience, expertise and resources than real fans, and this is just another example of that.”

Billboard obtained similar emails that show DTI offering face-value tickets before public onsales to shows by other artists such as P!nk, Ariana Grande and Elton John after Premier seat owners had not bought them.

DTI chief executive Curtis Cheng confirmed to Billboard that DTI holds around 200 Premier seats at a value of $2m, which is part of a five-year deal he negotiated in 2016 with Staples Center’s premium-seating department. Cheng said he thinks other brokers have bigger holdings than he does.

Image: Townsquare Media