TRENTON – Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver asked the state Attorney General’s Office to investigate reports concert promoters were secretly paid $3.4 million to book acts at the Meadowlands.
“New Jersey consumers know all too well the frustration that comes with trying to buy tickets to concerts, and this just adds to this concern,” said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). “These payments deserve more scrutiny. We have too many unanswered questions, and quite simply consumers deserve to know whether these payments impacted competition – and thus ticket prices – within the concert market.”
The Star-Ledger has reported the rebates to Live Nation and other promoters by the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. The payments were detailed in confidential agreements disclosed by the agency under a court order. They were released only after the authority lost a three-year court fight with the newspaper to keep the documents secret.
The dispute cost the agency more than $500,000 in legal fees.
“These payments to promoters have not been made public, raising government transparency concerns,” Oliver said. “They also sliced into this public authority’s profit margin for each concert. We need a better understanding of this situation, and I ask the Attorney General to shed light on it and recommend what changes may be needed to ensure competition and consumer protection.”
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