Tickets for London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display are now being resold for more than 17 times the original asking price.
The annual display was previously free of charge but the Mayor says growing crowds, which last year exceed 500,000, meant it was now necessary to limit the numbers who could watch the event.
City Hall ’s is charging an admin fee of £10 each ticket which insists it will only cover the cost of operating the ticketing scheme and not generate any profit.
However almost 24 before tickets went on sale popular resale sites were advertising the expected availability of tickets.
And just minutes before official selling started, one site, viagogo, was carrying listings for up to £170.45 – 17 times the official price.
Meanwhile rival seatwave has listings for up to £49.99 while ebay owned StubHub has tickets for up to £60.
At one point rises rose to as high as £500 per ticket.
Commenting on the inflated re-sale prices, London Assembly member Darren Johnson said: “Many Londoners will start to feel aggrieved that an event which they are paying for is lining the pockets of ticket companies and ticket touts.
“The Mayor should be minimising costs and ensuring that measures are in place to discourage both fraud and ticket touting.
“The Mayor needs to show Londoners that he thought through all these problems in advance, by publishing the report he received from officers which laid out upsides and down sides of all the options.”
Assembly member Johnson has previously called on the Mayor to work with boroughs to stage “a series of local firework displays”.
On Tuesday Labour AM Fiona Twycross urged the Mayor “to get a grip to ensure tickets are not gobbled up by ticket touts intent on making a profit out of this fantastic event.”