Here is the update on Taylor v U2 Verified Fan sales experiences. One additional note, I have GA to Uniondale and seats for Newark so I am a very fortunate U2 fan, but I did get a code for Verified Fan sale for the MSG 2 date. Figured I would try to pull a couple of GAs if they could be had. Didn't even get a sniff, but I am very fortunate so no complaints.
But back to Taylor. As described above we were in the Taylor Swift verified fan system. It was a little awkward with all the activities and indeed I think the exact system would not work for U2 as others have commented on. On Saturday we got an email saying that we were literally being put in a line and that codes would go out essentially one by one in your order of standing. Pre-sales would begin Tuesday and I got a time of Wednesday evening from 6pm to 7pm when I would get a code. We didn't buy any Merch or look for UPS trucks in the activities but we did buy the album and we did sign up for the Verified system the minute it came out. So that left us in a decent position as I think pre-sales go through Saturday. On Wednesday I looked a little into what the prices were for the different sections and the GA pits. The posted regular prices were $50 upper level - $250 for the floor. All in all with here past pricing and U2 stadium prices I consider this pretty fair for the market today. Our main question was were the Pit tickets $250 and would we pay that much for them and then if not how much do we have to pay for decent seats? My feeling was if we were looking at paying $175 for seats just pay the $250 and be up close. What I saw online was some complaints about delays getting codes and a huge amount of complaints over really high prices! Sound familiar?
We picked Philadelphia because the date worked best for us. I have never been to the stadium there so i printed out a seat chart so I would have an idea where any tickets that got pulled for us would be.
At 6:11pm I got a text with a link and then a text with a code. I had the laptop open to the Taylor Ticketmaster page. The way it worked was even if you searched for Taylor dates it gave you a password protected page, so you can't even get into anything without a code. I entered the code which opened up all the dates. (even though we selected Philadelphia in the process, we were allowed to pick a different date if desired.) I selected the Philadelphia link. it opened the next TM page which was a seat map page of the entire venue, but I had to enter the code again to see them. So I was then looking at the exact seats to choose from. This is standard with most locations now, but after huge onsales where that doesn't work when you have everyone trying all at once. There were seats available in nearly every section. The front floor had none in a couple sections directly in front but there were seats on the wings of the floor and towards the back of the floor. There were plenty of lower level seats, a fair amount of club level seats and a ton of upper level seats available. there were also tons of Pit seats available. I selected the Pit and instead of them being $250 they were all deemed VIP tickets and were going for $850 each. Looked around on the floor. Anything close was also deemed as VIP floor seating and were going for $450 to $600. There were some $250 floor seats all the way in the back. Quickly looked at lower level prices and then headed to the Club level. We like the club level for seats as the smaller crowds for food and drinks and bathrooms and merchandise are very nice. So we headed to that section and picked some seats about mid way back and got them for $135 each. When actually selecting the seat i had to put my special code in again for a third time. I don't know if this actually helps to stop code generating programs or not.
So in the end in just a few minutes we ended up with seats that we picked and were generally about what we expected to get both location and price wise. All in all it was a pretty good experience in the picking of the seats. I had my daughter with me so she could help pick. I know it is a related but separate issue on the prices but my 14 year old daughter has been a Taylor fan for easily half her life and she has seen her on every tour. When I showed her the pit and floor prices she rightly said that it was absurd and did not one bit feel like she should ask us to spend that much. another side note, she does not like U2, but in addition to Taylor she loves Ed Sheeran, Panic at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Cage the Elephant and Portugal the Man and we have seen all of them this year. But she also like old people music went to see Paul McCartney, Green Day, Billy Joel, Bryan Ferry and Elvis Costello with me this year. So she has a good appreciation for both music and the "value" of live music.
I can't say it was a better experience than U2 but it was an interesting way to get tickets and while we may complain about the methods, in the end I think the power these artists have to pull unreasonable prices from their fans may be just as big a crime as what scalpers do.