When George Strait announced a 2019 concert date at Fort Worth's new Dickie's Arena last month, tickets were said to cost $19.82 to $250 each. The news sounded too good to be true, and according to many fans trying to buy tickets Friday morning, it was.
Locals expressed their frustrations with Ticketmaster on social media, lamenting both ticket purchasing wait times and prices.
Tickets were slated to go on sale at 10 a.m., and when many logged in prior to then, they were "in a line" of thousands. The new Dickie's Arena has 14,000 seats, according to the venue's website.
Those who made it to the front of the queue were then greeted with exorbitant prices, most from "verified ticket resellers." Some in the sections closest to the stage are up to $990-plus per seat.
Some fans even called for the King of Country to book a second show.
Strait's concert is the latest in a seemingly never-ending battle between musicians, who try to price their tickets affordably for fans, and scalpers, who use bots to buy up choice tickets and re-sell them for several times the original price. Some artists, like Nine Inch Nails, have made direct attempts to circumvent ticket scalpers. For their most recent tour, the hard rock band first made tickets available exclusively at venue box offices, encouraging fans to lineup to buy physical tickets before they went on sale online.
The musical Hamilton, which comes to Dallas next spring, is requiring folks to register as a "verified fan" to be able to purchase tickets when they go on sale Dec. 14.
Alissa Cunningham, director of marketing for Dickie's Arena, said that the venue doesn't control the resale market and that there are no plans for a second concert at this time.
"We understand George Strait is a legend and there were hundreds of thousands of people who'd like to see him in Texas," she said, adding that resale ticket prices often drop closer to the event if they don't sell at the higher price points.
"I know that's not necessarily what fans want to hear," she said, "but we're limited once those tickets go on to resale markets."