A majority of the Replacements fans who tried to buy tickets to the band’s long-awaited “homecoming” concert got nowhere as fast as they can this morning.
Tickets for the Minneapolis rock legends’ Sept. 13 at Midway Stadium sold out within minutes of the general on-sale this morning. That’s about 13,000 tickets gone before you can name the last Paul Westerberg album, which will be the biggest crowd the band ever played to in its home town(s). It will also be the first Replacements show in the Twin Cities in 23 years, following an initial short run of festival reunion gigs at that started last August.
Murmurings of a second concert being added have thus far not been confirmed – nor denied – by the band members’ management. Most rock acts would consider it a no-brainer to go for two, given the extra payoff for the same set-up costs. But fans well know that the ‘Mats aren’t most rock acts.
“There has been no discussion yet of a second show that I know if,” said Nate Kranz, general manager at First Ave, which is co-promoting the Sept.13 date with Chicago’s Jam Productions. “Everything has been focused on this one show, and making it a special hometown show.”
Tickets to the Saturday concert – all general admission -- were officially declared sold out about a half-hour after the 10 a.m. start, but Kranz said “it essentially happened immediately.” Many fans (including yours truly) got stuck in a virtual waiting room on eTix.com from the get-go and were then given an “unavailable” notice after only three to five minutes. Similar scenarios happened on Wednesday and Thursday when pre-sale offers went into effect. Yesterday's announcement of the opening acts only added to the demand.
An informal poll of fans on Twitter and Facebook points to about a quarter of the people who tried to get tickets did manage to nab some. Many of the unlucky fans blamed ticket scalpers. The starting price on local ticket broker company Ticket King’s website was $185 as of 11 a.m. Stubhub.com lists 180 tickets available starting at $168.
“We do everything we can to fight it,” Kranz said, “but there’s not a whole lot you can do in a state like ours where ticket scalping is legal.”
In a word: stinks.