One Direction show Thursday at Target Center is one hot ticket

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British pop group One Direction arrive at the Cannes festival palace, to take part in the NRJ Music awards.

The heartthrobs of One Direction sure are causing a lot of heartache.

Parents are scrambling and ticket scalpers are salivating over the ­desperate demand to see the British boy band’s Twin Cities debut Thursday at Target Center.

Resale prices start around $270 for nosebleed seats, and the usual danger of phony tickets is reaching a fever pitch.

“It’s turning into a nightmare for a lot of parents,” said Molly Schultz of River Falls, Wis., who was duped into buying a pair of fake $150 tickets via Craigslist.

Now dealing with police on the matter, Schultz bought the tickets as a birthday present for her 14-year-old daughter, Leahy, despite her awareness of ­widespread scamming.

“I thought everything checked out,” she said, “but I knew right away I’d been ripped off when they didn’t arrive in the mail on time.”

Even for legitimate ticket brokers, the concert has been something of a headache.

“There just aren’t a lot of seats available,” said Mike Nowakowski, co-owner of Ticket King, a resale broker with offices in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Prices on StubHub range from $271 to $2,042 per ticket for seats that originally sold for $29.50 to $89.50.

Part of the problem for ­parents and brokers alike is that tickets to One Direction’s tour went on sale over a year ago, in April 2012. The tousle-haired, pink-cheeked quintet had only entered the U.S. charts a couple of months earlier with its single “What Makes You Beautiful,” a year after the group broke big in England via Simon Cowell’s TV competition “The X ­Factor.”

Still, the arena sold out in minutes — something that’s normal for hot tours, ranging from Taylor Swift to Paul McCartney. What’s more surprising is that the group remains hot a year later, despite the skepticism of many industry insiders (and the hope of many parents).

Nowakowski described the ticket situation as a stalemate.

“The people who have tickets just aren’t selling them, or they’re asking [for] too much,” he said. “And the people who want them understandably aren’t willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a mediocre seat at a concert by a group the fans probably won’t even like a few years from now.”

Thursday’s concert evokes memories of Miley Cyrus. Parents shelled out $150-plus for resale tickets to her Target Center concert in 2007 at the height of her fame on the ­Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana.”

Six years later, it’s hard to imagine Cyrus even selling out a theater one-10th the size of that arena. Even Justin Bieber saw diminished ticket demand his last time at Target Center, in October.

The one teen-centric act to maintain a strong following of late is Taylor Swift, but she tours more often and is doing two shows Sept. 7-8 at Xcel Energy Center. (Only a few tickets remain.) She and One Direction rank No. 1 and 2 in popularity on the StubHub website, a company representative said, but “we could ­easily see them beating Taylor Swift at the current rate they are going.”

‘It doesn’t seem fair’

Osseo Senior High School senior Katie Rounsville knows that One Direction might be a forgotten fad someday. She sought out tickets anyway, looking for a way to cheer up her 7-year-old sister, Makayla, who recently had ­appendix surgery.

  • ONE DIRECTION

    When: 7:30 p.m. Thu.

    Where: Target Center, Mpls.

    With: 5 Seconds to Summer.

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