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12-12-12 Sandy Benefit Concert Organizers Worry Money May Wind Up In Wrong Hands

Scalpers Selling Floor Seats On StubHub For Garden Show For $38,000
12-12-12 Benefit Concert (credit: CBS 2)

12-12-12 Benefit Concert (credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A star-studded benefit concert is set for next Wednesday, but concert organizers are concerned that the money raised by ticket sales may wind up in the wrong pockets.

The “12-12-12″ benefit show is being put on by the Robin Hood Foundation, with every cent raised designed to go to Superstorm Sandy victims, including the fee Ticketmaster usually collects.

Acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, The Who, Eddie Vedder, Roger Waters, Kanye West and many others will be performing at the benefit next week.

The Madison Square Garden show sold out almost immediately when tickets went on sale on Monday, leaving fans looking to the secondary market for tickets.

That’s where the controversy can be found.

On StubHub, floor seats were going for as much as $38,000 and Upper Level seats were being sold for at least $400, CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported.

“A regular ticket that would be like $200 would be at $700, $800,” one woman looking for tickets told Smith.

All of the face value money from the original purchases will go to help Sandy victims, but nobody can be sure what scalpers will do with their earnings.

The charitable organization sponsoring the benefit concert said there is nothing to stop scalpers from pocketing the profits they make off selling their tickets.

“I really hope that they don’t. Too many people need all of our help,” Robin Hood Foundation Executive Director David Saltzman told CBS 2’s Smith.

On its website, StubHub said that it is donating its portion of fees collected from ticket sales for the 12-12-12 benefit to the Robin Hood Foundation and has even provided sellers the option to donate money made off their tickets.

Some New Yorkers said no one should be profiting off this benefit for Sandy victims.

Taking it personally Wednesday was Aiman Youssef, who is now living in a tent next to his Midland Beach, Staten Island home, which is red tagged and must be torn down due to the storm.

“They should be in jail, those people,” Youssef told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin. “We should have more concerts like that to help the people. Just watch out for those scalpers, take the money away from them.”

Other New Yorkers agreed.

“They should be arrested for that,” one man told CBS 2’s Smith.

One woman said she doubts any scalper would give up their profits.

“‘Are you donating all of it?’ The answer would be no. Then you could say the second question, ‘are you donating any of it?’ Answer would still be no,” she told Smith.

Patti McCray lost everything in the storm and said she cannot fathom how someone could try to make money off of a benefit concert.

“We’ve been suffering, we’ve been without heat, we’ve been without hot water,” she told Smith.

The Robin Hood Foundation said it hopes to raise $24 million from the benefit concert for Sandy victims.

The concert will air live next Wednesday at 8 p.m. on TV 10/55. Donations can be made directly to the Robin Hood Foundation during the broadcast.

For more information on the concert visit www.121212concert.org.

Do you think people have a right to re-sell concert tickets for profit, even if it’s a benefit concert? Offer your comments below…