Ticketmaster CEO Irving Azoff has responded to the Bruce Springsteen camp in an "open letter of apology to Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and the entire Springsteen Tour Team."
The Springsteen camp stated on Brucespringsteen.net that it was "furious" fans had been directed to Ticketmaster's secondary site TicketsNow when regularly priced seats were still available. Ticketmaster's stance is that fans were only redirected when their specific ticket request could not be met.
Rather than acknowledging any "conflict of interest" as was expressed by Springsteen's withering online post, Ticketmaster admits it could have handled the matter better.
"While we were genuinely trying to do the right thing for fans in providing more choices when the tickets they requested from the primary on-sale were not available, we clearly missed the mark," Azoff says in the response. "Fans are confused and angry, which is the opposite of what we hoped to accomplish. We sincerely apologize to Bruce, his organization and, above all, his fans."
"We recognize that we need to change our course," Azoff continues. "We have committed to Bruce and state publicly here that we have taken down all links for Bruce's shows directing fans from Ticketmaster to TicketsNow. This redirection only occurred as a choice when we could not satisfy fans' specific search request for primary ticket inventory, but to make sure there is no misunderstanding in the future, we also publicly state that we will never again link to TicketsNow in a manner that can possibly create any confusion during a high-demand on-sale.
"Specifically, we will not present an option to go to TicketsNow from Ticketmaster without the consent of the artist and the venue, both of whom work together to bring the joy of live entertainment to millions of fans."
Saying that fans won't be linked to TicketsNow as before is not an insignificant move, as Ticketmaster has positioned TicketsNow to compete with the dominant players in the secondary market.
Furthermore, Azoff says Ticketmaster will refund the difference between the face value and resale value for any fan that "inadvertently purchased tickets in the resale marketplace believing in error they were purchasing from the initial on-sale." He adds, "Please don't abuse this good faith gesture -- we did not give brokers any preferential access to tickets."