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Ticketmaster Says Bad Bunny Tour Had Highest Demand Ever in Mexico, Shows Were Not Oversold

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Replying to mounting criticism from the public and Mexican officials, Ticketmaster Mexico issued a formal statement on Monday (Dec. 12) following a ticketing fiasco that led to hundreds being denied access to Bad Bunny’s Mexico City shows Dec. 9 and 10.

“As has been reported, on Friday an unprecedented number of fake tickets were presented at the entrance of [Estadio Azteca], purchased outside our official channels,” wrote Ticketmaster in its release, posted on Twitter late Monday. “In addition to causing confusion among entrance officials, this situation generated a malfunction in our system, which for moments at a time, couldn’t properly identify legitimate tickets. It’s important to underscore that there was no oversale of tickets. Ticketmaster took the technological and logistical measures needed to ensure what happened on Friday would not happen on Saturday.”

Mexico’s Federal Attorney’s Office for Consumers (PROFECO), reported that more than 1,600 people were denied entry to Bad Bunny’s Friday show, leading to crowds of angry ticket-holders clamoring outside the gates of Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca. At the time, Ticketmaster attributed the issue to fake tickets that caused their system to malfunction. On Saturday, just 110 were denied entry.

PROFECO, however, said the ticketing problem for the Puerto Rican superstar’s shows was triggered by an “oversale” of tickets and that Ticketmaster would be fined as a result. “The difference between those defrauded in the first and second concert is proof of it. 1,600 tickets in the first concert… and 110 in the second”, PROFECO head Ricardo Sheffield explained on TV program Aguila o sol

The fine for Ticketmaster México could amount to up to 10% of that company’s total sales in 2021, Sheffield said. 

“Ticketmaster claimed they were counterfeit, but they were all issued by them,” Sheffield said in an interview on Saturday with Radio Fórmula.  

PROFECO’s investigation determined that many tickets claimed as false were indeed legitimate and had been purchased through legitimate channels, according to Sheffield.

In its new missive, Ticketmaster says the Bad Bunny shows were the most in-demand ever in the country’s history, with 4.5 million people attempting to purchase just 120,000 available seats for both Azteca dates. The company said it’s collaborating “openly and widely” with the investigation and will refund ticket buyers in addition to paying them the 20% indemnization mandated by law.

Read full statement in Spanish below:

Ticketmaster has technology that can prevent the type of fraud that allegedly impacted entry to the show, but so far it has only been deployed in the United States. The technology, known as SafeTix, digitizes tickets and eliminates easy to duplicate barcodes that can be resold to multiple people. It’s unclear when the technology will be available in countries outside of the U.S.

Ticketmaster Mexico had been owned and operated by OCESA-CIE since the 1980s but last year Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation finalized its acquisition of Ticketmaster Mexico, transitioning the company from a license holder to a Ticketmaster subsidiary. Ticketmaster Mexico is forecast to sell 20 million tickets this year.

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