TRENTON, N.J. (CN) - Live Nation abuses its power as the world's largest concert producer by charging ticketholders for parking whether there is sufficient space for parking or not, and whether the concertgoers need to park or not, a class action claims in Federal Court. The company also charges a "charity fee" for a charity it does not identify, the class claims.
Lead plaintiff Clifford Davidson says that when he bought a ticket to a Live Nation event at the PNC Bank Arts Center he had to pay a parking fee for each ticket, plus a 25-cent "charity fee" for an unnamed charity.
Davidson says he could not decline the parking charge or pay one parking fee per carload, and adds that the PNC amphitheater has more seats than parking spaces.
Live Nation controls hundreds of concert venues, including PNC, through ownership or contract, according to the complaint. Davidson says the company made more than $5 million by overcharging tens of thousands of New Jersey concertgoers in the past 6 years.
Even when Live Nation sold tickets through contractors such as Ticketmaster, which it did until it began doing its own ticketing in mid-2008, the class claims Live Nation imposed exploitative charges.
In response to customers' complaint, Live Nation removed the $6 parking charge in March this year, but added it right back to the ticket price, the class claims.
Davidson says other concert venues such as Nassau Coliseum and the Meadowlands charge $7 to $15 flat rates for parking, while parking at Jones Beach is free.
He seeks an injunction and treble damages from Live Nation, Live Nation Worldwide and GSAC Partners for violations of the Consumer Fraud Act.
The class is represented by Olimpio Squitieri with Squitieri & Fearon of Jersey City.
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