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Profiteering on Broadway: How can Bruce Springsteen charge $850 per ticket? | Opinion

Springsteen will gross approximately $535,000 per night.

Bruce Springsteen performing at Independence Mall in  November.
Bruce Springsteen performing at Independence Mall in November.Read moreAP Photo / Matt Slocum

On Thursday morning, the final slew of tickets for Bruce Springsteen on Broadway went on sale. Ticketmaster will once again be the butt of fans' anger, and maybe with just cause.

There will be more to say about the Verified Fan process when it's all done and dusted, however, today the villain of this Broadway play is not Ticketmaster, but Springsteen himself.

And though many fans absolve Bruce of any blame, and heap scorn on long-time manager Jon Landau — this time Bruce has to carry the can.

In 2016, Springsteen played to 2.4 million fans, grossing $268 million, charging  on average  $111 per ticket.

World Tours are expensive. For the 2016 River Tour, the Springsteen crew numbered 100-plus full-time people who had to be ferried, housed, and paid for their work,  from the lowest paid humpers right up to Little Steven. Then there were all the local crews.

At Wembley Stadium in London, it cost Springsteen $150,000 just to hire a crew to cover the hallowed turf.

And Springsteen made a shift. These were the longest shows of his career, and no one begrudges the rewards that come from 76 nights of work.

However, on Broadway, Springsteen is simply profiteering.

Defenders argue that Broadway tickets cost more than concert tickets, that Hamilton  is more expensive than Springsteen on Broadway, and that it's what the market will bear.

That may all be true, but there is simply no need for Springsteen to hustle for $850 tickets.

Yes, there are costs of putting on a Broadway show, but nowhere near the investment required to go on the road. Springsteen will gross approximately $535,000 per night. That's more than a quarter of a million dollars an hour. Think about that compared to your hourly pay rate.

The irony is that those Wall Street-types from Bankers Hill  —  you know the ones  —  the ones Bruce raged against on the Wrecking Ball album? They will be sitting in the front row when Bruce walks on stage on Oct. 12.

Think about that, Bruce.

And where is Bruce? OK, he's been seen at various events near where he lives, but the silence remains deafening.

There's an old mantra: Never apologize, never explain, which Springsteen has taken to heart.

As I wrote last week, in 35 years of following Bruce, I have never seen so many fans prepare to desert the man they have looked to and admired.

I have thought long and hard about writing this article, because I am not a hater or a troll  —  I'm a loyal fan whose life has been lived to the sound track of Bruce's music, but this time around, Springsteen has let himself down. Worst of all, he's let his fans down.

Steve Milton is a writer in London who has followed Bruce Springsteen's career for 35 years. He can be followed @greasylake on Twitter. This post originally appeared on