SMAP seems to have hit an all-time low, with rumors of them not getting on well and the depressing ratings of Kimura Takuya's currently airing dorama, Moon Lovers. However, it seems that they now have a new problem - Empty seats at their upcoming concert due to ticketing woes.
SMAP will begin their WE ARE SMAP! Tour 2010 on the 31st of July at Sapporo Dome. The entire tour consists of nineteen performances at five venues in Japan. The tour carries the same name as their new album, titled WE ARE SMAP, to be released on the 21st this month.
However, it seems that the folks over at Johnny's are afraid that there will be empty seats during the concert because of people who buy more tickets than they need or buy the tickets but then do not turn up. It is common for overseas fans to get Japanese netizens to buy tickets to the concerts for them and then fly over later for the concert. Some people who are looking to make money also buy the tickets in bulk, then sell them to fans at a higher price. (I don't really know much about this since I've never tried, so maybe you guys can understand it better)
Apparently, their ticketing office or ticketing system (again I don't know how it works) has seen the same people buying multiple tickets for all days of all venues, so it is pretty obvious that these people are buying them to sell to others. While the highest amount for a single ticket is 8 000yen, that amount can jump up to outrageous amounts like 50 000 yen in online auctions and such.
However, all this overseas transactions also mean more trouble. Overseas fans might get scammed and be put off by the bad experiece, or buy the tickets and then not be able to make it for the concert due to travelling issues, etc. Also, native Japanese fans who can attend the concert may not be able to get tickets because of all these people who buy in bulk. The result? Empty seats and upset fans, not just in Japan, but worldwide. (Entame)
Everyone out there, please be careful when buying tickets from overseas! And if you do have tickets, make sure you do go (or pass your ticket to someone else) and have a smashing great time! :)