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Hot Concerts, Pricey Tickets?

March 25, 1994|STEVE HOCHMAN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Worried about getting shut out in the rush for Barbra Streisand tickets when they go on sale Sunday, and for Eagles reunion tickets when they go on sale April 2?

Frightened by the prospect of having to then turn to brokers who might charge outrageous sums--maybe as high as the $2,000 that choice seats commanded for Streisand's recent Las Vegas shows?

The news may not be as alarming.

In a Times survey of Southern California ticket brokers, the outlook is that the best seats from brokers for Streisand's May 25, 27 and 29 shows at the Anaheim Arena should top out at a mere $1,000, while key Eagles seats are expected to level off around $500.

"In Vegas, (the Streisand) was a special situation," says Harris Rosner, owner of VIP Tickets in Sherman Oaks. "To begin with, the face value of the top tickets was $1,000 and you just couldn't get them."

Gary Bongiovanni, editor of Pollstar, a trade magazine that tracks the concert business, agrees with Rosner's assessment.

"There are a lot of well-heeled people in L.A., but not a lot of people will part with $2,000 to see Barbra Streisand," he said. "You have to have more money than you know what to do with.

"If your oil well is gushing away in your back yard, it's no problem, but for most people it's out of the question. And remember: There are going to be 40,000 tickets available at Anaheim, so people will be able to get them without paying that much."

The face value of tickets for Streisand's Anaheim shows ranges from $50 to $350--still high by pop concert standards, but well below the Vegas tickets.

Tickets for the Eagles shows are expected to be in the more traditional concert price range. The band's first reunion tour since 1980 is scheduled to begin at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre on May 27, 28, 29 and 31 and at the Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion on June 3.

The Eagles tour will feature the group's final lineup of Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmit. It is expected to run at least through September, with a return to Southern California for arena or stadium dates possible in late summer. Plans are also being made for a televised performance and live album release.

Brokers expect the top Eagles tickets for the Irvine and Blockbuster shows to run about the same as for the best seats at the season's others big concerts: Pink Floyd at the Rose Bowl, April 16 and 17, and for the planned Rolling Stones dates in late summer.

"Pink Floyd has gone up to as much as $500 per ticket," says David Clem, manager of Applause Tickets. But he noted that the addition of the second Floyd show made more tickets available and drove the prices down.

In fact, the brokers say, a glut of upcoming shows appealing to the baby boomer market could keep the prices of many events lower than might be expected under other circumstances.

"You've got all these shows--the Stones, Pink Floyd, Traffic, possibly Elton John with Billy Joel, and the rumors of a Led Zeppelin tour," says Rosner. "Maybe people will mortgage their homes to sit in the first row of every show. I hope so, but I don't think so."

Some observers note, however, that for any of these--especially the likes of Streisand, the Eagles and Led Zeppelin, none of whom have toured for years--there is the wild card "high roller" factor.

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