Charlie Sheen's Tour Controversy: Winning on Ticket Sales?
"Winning" or "Not Winning"? That's the latest question surrounding Charlie Sheen's "My Violent Torpedo of Truth" 22-date North American tour, which begins April 2 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
Over the past several weeks, numerous media outlets have reported that a handful of dates on Sheen's forthcoming trek sold out within minutes. But it turns out that some of those reported sold-out performances -- including the April 2 date at the approximately 5,000-capacity Fox Theater -- still have tickets available on Ticketmaster. Last week, Roger Friedman pointed this out on his website, Showbiz 411, and it was brought to the mainstream Friday by CNBC.com.
The CNBC post notes that secondary ticketing companies like StubHub, NoFeesTickets.com and Bargainseatsonline.com snatched up "a lot" of tickets to many of Sheen's forthcoming shows and are now selling them for less than face value, which could suggest that fan demand for the tour is being overestimated by the media reports. (It should be noted that some secondary tickets are on sale across multiple reselling sites, which makes it appear that there are more tickets in the market than there actually are.)
As of the evening of Mar. 29, StubHub reportedly had 1,449 tickets available for the Detroit show alone. But this isn't all that shocking. In today's ticket-buying market, it's typical for secondary sellers to buy tickets in bulk for what they think will be hot-selling shows, whether it's Lady Gaga or U2. In the case of Sheen's tour, however, it seems that resellers may have misjudged the demand.
Nevertheless, this won't impact the money Sheen grosses from the performances -- and that's not to mention merchandise and other ancillary revenue the actor will earn during the tour. Even though fans didn't technically purchase some of the tickets through Ticketmaster, the tickets were still bought by another source, in this case secondary ticketers.
"A ticket sold is a ticket sold, whether it's from Ticketmaster, CharlieSheen.com or the box office," Sheen spokesperson Larry Solters tells Billboard. "Where they go after that, frankly we don't know. We all know a re-seller will often post their tickets to multiple sites to promote their product. It might be on multiple sites for the same ticket."
Solters notes that Sheen's tour has sold close to 100,000 tickets with no paid advertising.
As show dates draw closer and prices further drop on secondary sites, it's likely that many of the houses will be packed when all is said and done. Time will certainly tell, but it seems as though Sheen will most likely be winning in the end, after all.