(NEW YORK) — Concert and sports fans have long bridled at Ticketmaster’s lock on the market with its fee-laden approach in a day and age when issuing a ticket can cost a concert attendee dearly.
Though concert attendance and earnings are up, Ticketmaster may be facing a formidable rival in the second-largest concert company, AEG.
As of Tuesday, Ticketmaster no longer has a grip on Minneapolis’ major events venue, Target Center, which is the home of the NBA Timberwolves and WNBA Lynx.
AEG, a subsidiary of Anschutz Company in Denver, announced on Monday that it will be replacing Ticketmaster as the ticketing agency of the Target Center. AEG calls itself the nation’s second-largest concert promotion and touring company and part owner of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, home of the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers, WNBA’s Sparks and NHL’s Kings.
However, while AEG is providing tickets through its AXS online system for Target Center’s future concerts and gatherings starting Tuesday, Ticketmaster is still ticketing Timberwolves and Lynx games.
Bryan Perez, AEG’s president of digital, ticketing and media, said the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 2012-2013 season was on sale to the public prior to AXS’ announcement.
“Conversations about future seasons are taking place, but nothing has been confirmed at this time,” he said.
The first question frequent concert-attendees in the Minneapolis area asked after they learned Ticketmaster was given the boot for non-sporting events was, “Will fees be lower?”
Courtney Dveris, Target Center spokeswoman, said fees vary based on ticket prices.
“In some instances fees will be lower and other instances fees will likely be in line with other ticketing companies,” she said.
However, unlike Ticketmaster, AXS does not charge a delivery fee to customers who print their Target Center event tickets at home, which is most often criticized by consumers. Dveris said fans have been excited to learn that fee has been eliminated with AXS.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune also points out that AXS fees are listed up front as a single fee.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Heather Long, CNN
Magdala Louissaint, KPVI
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com