Charlie Sheen tweeted two weeks ago that the first two concerts from his Violent Torpedo of Truth tour sold out, reportedly in 18 minutes, but five days before the first show in Detroit, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Not only are tickets are still available on Ticketmaster, but the secondary ticket market, which includes online ticket exchanges like Stubhub.com and TicketNetwork.com, has been inundated with unwanted tickets often going for less than face value.
More than 1,250 seats are available on Stubhub.com for Saturday’s show at Detroit’s Fox Theatre, a venue that seats 5,000. That’s a quarter of the house’s seats still up for grabs, which might explain a resell price of as low as $21, less than half the face value of some tickets. “[The high resell percentage] is certainly more than we typically see,” says Joellen Ferrer, public relations manager for Stubhub. “It seems like there were some buyers who were overly optimistic about the market for Sheen tickets; the supply has definitely outpaced demand.”
So what happened to the claims of sold-out shows? Sheen’s spokesperson would not comment on the matter, but Don Vaccaro, CEO of TicketNetwork online ticket exchange says plainly,”It is theoretically impossible for these events to be sold out if there are tickets still available [on the primary market]. That’s not what sold out means.”
By that traditional definition, though, Sheen has sold out a few venues. His first show at New York’s Radio City Music Hall is booked — unless you’re willing to drop $750 for the official Meet & Greet treatment. And Sunday’s Chicago show is technically full, though nearly a third of those seats can still be had on the secondary ticket markets. While the price-point on the online exchanges varies from city to city, the going rate for a Sheen ticket is healthier for shows further out on the horizon. “When you get down to a week or less before an event, you generally see a price drop, and that’s what you’re seeing here,” says Vaccaro. “If the first reviews are poor and bad word of mouth spreads, you could see demand dwindle down to nothing, with tickets going for a fraction of their face value.”