MONEY Internet

Verizon Internet Customers Can Now Watch HBO Without a Pay TV Package

Game of Thrones
Nick Wall—HBO/courtesy Everett Collection Game of Thrones

HBO Now is now available if you have Verizon broadband.

On Tuesday, HBO and Verizon announced a new partnership allowing Verizon broadband customers to sign up for the Internet-only HBO Now service, starting immediately.

TV fans had begged HBO for years to introduce a streaming service that didn’t require the usual pay TV subscription. The TV giant finally obliged by launching HBO Now in April, at a price of $14.99 per month. At the beginning, however, HBO Now was available exclusively on Apple TV and Optimum.

Verizon broadband customers now have access to HBO Now too. Free 30-day trials of HBO Now are currently available via verizon.com/hbonow. After the introductory period ends, subscribers would pay $14.99 per month to keep the Internet-only service, which offers instant access to the usual HBO content, including series like “Game of Thrones” and hundreds of movies and sports and comedy specials.

For the time being, only Verizon’s broadband customers—Fios or otherwise—have access to HBO Now. Verizon says that eventually HBO Now will be open to 100+ million Verizon Wireless customers as well, though it hasn’t been announced when that option will be available.

MORE: Get Ready for Your Internet Bill to Soar
7 Streaming TV Packages That Will Let You Cut the Cord for Good

MONEY TV

5 Reasons Why Comcast Stream Is a Bad Deal

The $15 per month streaming service sounds an amazing value. It's not.

On Monday, Comcast introduced a new streaming TV service called, appropriately, Stream. It’ll launch in beta in the Boston area toward the end of summer, and the plan calls for a continued rollout to Chicago and Seattle in the fall. By early 2016, the service is expected to be available nationwide.

What’ll grab your attention right away is what seems to be an incredibly low price for a service that includes HBO: just $15 per month. Also surprising is that Comcast—renowned for frustrating customers with high prices and poor customer service even in its hometown of Philadelphia—swears that Stream subscribers will enjoy a dream, hassle-free user experience. “We want to make ordering Stream as easy as buying a song online,” the Comcast press release states. “And make tuning in to a show as simple as opening an email.”

But here are a handful of reasons why Stream isn’t quite the amazing value it’s pumped up to be.

Your bill will be much more than $15 per month. Comcast explains in its post that Stream is “unlike anything we’ve ever offered: no extra device or additional equipment required…or even a TV.”

What is required, however, is a broadband Internet connection (which is true for any streaming)—but not just any connection. In the case, you need a connection provided by Comcast on a monthly subscription basis. So, in addition to the $15 per month for Stream, you’ll also have to pay a monthly Comcast Internet bill, which might run $50 or $60.

What’s more, while no extra devices or additional equipment are needed for Stream, Comcast Internet customers do need modems. Unless you buy your own and hook it up—which few people bother with—you’ll be paying Comcast an extra $10 per month or so for the privilege of renting a piece of equipment that costs maybe $50 to $75 to own outright. Very quickly, you’ll see how that $15 monthly bill turns into $75 or $85, before local and national taxes and fees are added in.

Most of the content is free on regular TV. For now, the Stream package includes HBO and broadcast networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and PBS stations that “are typically available free via high-definition antennas that cost about $25,” the New York Times noted. We suppose there’s some value in being able to stream the networks on a device rather than watch them on TV, but such a service would be much more useful if you could stream via a non-Comcast Internet provider, or if you could watch in a location not in very close proximity to your TV. But you can’t because of the point below.

You can only stream live TV at home. One of the most appealing parts of Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, and other streaming services made for cord cutters is that customers can watch on devices anywhere they go, so long as there’s wi-fi. Not so with Comcast Stream. Subscribers will be able to use the service’s cloud-based DVR to download and watch on-demand shows and movies at any location—presumably, for an extra fee in many cases—but if you want to watch live TV, you’ll have to stay in proximity to your home router.

“You’ll only be able to stream live TV while you’re connected to your home Wi-Fi network,” one BGR.com writer explains, which vastly diminishes the utility and value of the service. “Why would you want to live stream network TV in your home? If you’re in your house and you want to watch a network TV program live, you can get it by flipping on your TV and having your antenna deliver the signal… for free.”

There are cheaper options—from Comcast itself. As highlighted above, to get Comcast Stream, you’ll have to pay somewhere north of $75 per month, once Comcast broadband and the fees are tallied up. If all you want are the basic networks and HBO, there are much less expensive options, including some from Comcast. Re/Code’s Peter Kafka reported that, among the other possibilities, Comcast offers a package with basic TV, HBO, and broadband Internet starting at just $45 in some parts of the country.

HBO is the only pay TV channel included. Unlike Sling TV, which cable channels like ESPN, AMC, and TNT in its basic package, Stream contains only one channel that people cannot otherwise watch for free: HBO. The cost of Stream is the same as HBO’s stand-along streaming service, HBO Now. Yet because an HBO Now subscription does not require Comcast Internet service, and because unlike Stream, HBO Now can be viewed anywhere rather than only at home, essentially “from a cord cutter’s perspective, Comcast is charging $15 per month for a less desirable version of HBO Now,” suggests BGR.com.

MONEY

These Are the 5 Richest Superheroes

The wealthiest superhero is worth over $90 trillion.

It’s pretty good to be a superhero. As if it weren’t enough to have the awesome fighting powers themselves, the men and women who grace our comic book covers and headline blockbuster action movies also get spiffy outfits, cool names, dashing good looks, and, in many cases, a huge fortune to help fund their crime-fighting adventures. As Comic-Con kicks off in San Diego, we at Money decided to research how much the wealthiest caped crusaders are worth and see which champion is the most (economically) powerful.

 

  • 5. Emma Frost

    Emma Frost
    20th Century Fox—courtesy Everett Collection Emma Frost

    Net Worth: $1-3 billion

    Frost, a reformed villain, now helps lead the X-Men with her psychic powers—and her enormous fortune. As chair of the board and CEO of Frost International, a multi-billion dollar electronics conglomerate, the telepath has considerable financial resources. And while there’s no specific figure placed on her wealth, her liquidated holdings were apparently sufficient to fund the X-Men’s island base for “the foreseeable future.” So that’s probably a lot.

  • 4. Professor Charles Xavier

    Professor X
    20th Century Fox—courtesy Everett Collection Professor X

    Net Worth: $3.5 billion

    Running a mutant superhero team isn’t cheap, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that two X-Men leaders make the list. Professor Charles Xavier, the founder of the X-Men and Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, is worth $3.5 billion; at least according to Fantomex, who tried to extort Xavier (New X-Men #129). You’d think the same person who can read everyone’s mind might have a little bit more money on hand (he’d only be #497 in the Forbes 500), but Xavier seems to have bigger priorities than acquiring cash.

  • 3. Bruce Wayne

    Bruce Wayne
    Warner Bros—courtesy Everett Collection Bruce Wayne

    Net Worth: $9.2 billion

    Considering Bruce Wayne’s superpower is essentially “being rich enough to afford gadgets and karate training,” it makes sense that the Batman would be pretty loaded. Forbes estimates Wayne’s worth at $9.2 billion, and lists his company, Wayne Enterprises, as having an annual revenue of $31.3 billion.

  • 2. Tony Stark

    Iron Man
    Paramount—courtesy Everett Collection Iron Man

    Net Worth: $12.4 billion

    Tony Stark, otherwise known as Iron Man, narrowly edges out Wayne in the battle of billionaire playboys. Interestingly, while Forbes ranks Stark’s wealth ahead of Batman, the publication lists Stark Industries’ revenue ($20.3 billion) as less than that of Wayne Enterprises. Chalk it up to Wayne’s legendary philanthropy.

  • 1. T’Challa

    Marvel Black Panther

    Net Worth: $90.7 trillion

    T’Challa, the Black Panther, isn’t just the richest superhero. He’s almost undoubtedly the wealthiest fictional character of all time.

    How is it even possible for one person to have this much wealth? T’Challa is the king of Wakanda, a fictional African country with nearly all of the world’s reserves of Vibranium. And Vibranium, being a super-strong metal (Captain America’s shield is made out of Vibranium), doesn’t come cheap.

    According to the comics, the material costs $10,000 per gram, and Wakanda’s Vibranium vaults have 10,000 tons of the stuff (Doomwar #1). A little math and that amount of Vibranium would cost more than the GDP of the entire world.

    Unfortunately for T’Challa, a plot by Doctor Doom to steal Wakanda’s Vibranium forced the king to release a fail safe rending the stockpile inert, and potentially worthless. But on the upside, Black Panther is getting a movie in 2018. So you win some, you lose some.

MONEY gambling

$1 Billion Powerball Jackpot Is Coming

person grabbing powerball ticket
Scott Olson—Getty Images

At same time, the odds of winning are worse than ever.

Earlier this week, the New York Gaming Commission, which is a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association, announced it was tweaking the odds of winning the lottery to raise more revenues. But don’t get excited: Your chances of winning aren’t getting better.

Precisely, the odds of winning Powerball, which are now 1 in 175,223,510, are shooting up to 1 in 292,201,338. So your chances of hitting it big in the lottery, which are already far less likely than getting killed by a shark or struck by lightning, are about to get much worse.

While there is arguably nothing positive about the lottery before or after the changes are instituted, the big brains at FiveThirtyEight point out that there is somewhat of a silver lining to the news that the odds of winning are getting worse.

Assuming that all of the states that participate in Powerball get on board with the changes, sooner or later some luckier-than-ever winner stands to win an epically huge chunk of cash. “The chances of a Powerball win making some future player a billionaire are radically higher. Like, 7.5 times as high,” FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey explains.

Basically, a $1 billion jackpot is likely to happen in part because the likelihood of anyone winning an individual Powerball is decreasing. The longer that no one wins, the bigger the pot gets. What’s more, as the pot grows, the number of tickets sold grows as well, which in turn increases the pace of the pot’s rise.

Hickey ran simulations of five years of play comparing the old and new odds. With the old odds, only 8.5% of the five-year simulations wound up with a $1 billion Powerball jackpot. However, under the new scenario, in which the odds of anyone winning are worse and the pot will therefore rise and rise, a $1 billion jackpot appeared in nearly two-thirds (63.4%) of the simulated five-year periods.

MONEY Travel

A Week’s Stay at These National Parks Is Summer’s Best Vacation Bargain

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Chris Murray—Getty Images Acadia National Park

Don't forget to pack a tent.

Some of the most awe-inspiring places to camp across the United States are in the National Park system, which means that staying inside their boundaries is super affordable. Here is a sampling of attractions and prices for maintained campgrounds at different parks across the country. The mean price to stay at these destinations — parking and camping together — is around $160 per week. Have you packed your bags yet?

1. Acadia National Park

Trek up to Maine to Acadia National Park. You’ll find Cadillac Mountain, the tallest point on the Atlantic coast, beautiful ocean views, countless acres of forest, and New England’s classic rocky beaches. For seven-day access with your vehicle, you’ll pay $25; it’s only $12 for bikers, hikers, and pedestrians. From there, you have two camping locations from which to choose: Blackwoods Campground and Seawall Campground. Cost is between $22 and $30 per night. Reservations are recommended in the peak season from May through October.

2. Yosemite National Park

There are a whopping 13 campgrounds in California’s Yosemite National Park. That doesn’t mean finding a camping spot will necessarily be easy at this popular destination. With Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Tuolumne Meadows, Cathedral Peak, and more attractions — you’ll want to plan ahead. Daily camping fees range from $12 to $26, with parking adding another $30 for a seven-day pass ($15 for bike or foot access). Though most sites require reservations, six of the grounds are on a first come, first served basis.

3. Olympic National Park

With close to one million acres, Washington’s Olympic National Park boasts everything from snowcapped peaks to wild winding rivers to gorgeous Pacific Coast shoreline. If you’re unable to hike for some reason, check out 30-mile Quinault Rainforest Loop. The road snakes all the way around Lake Quinault on the south side of the park. You get access for your car for $20 a week or hike in for just $7. Camping is another $15 to $22 per day, depending on which of the 16 locations you choose. Most (15) of the campsites operate on a first come, first served basis.

4. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

You might not know that America’s most visited national park is the Great Smoky Mountains. Its location straddling the North Carolina and Tennessee border makes its majestic mountains, diverse wildlife, and unique culture easily accessible to people traveling from all directions. There are a variety of camping options, including backcountry, frontcountry, group campgrounds, horse camps, and even LeConte Lodge (only reached by hiking). The grounds maintained by the park cost between $14 and $23. Oh, and entrance to this park is entirely free!

5. Glacier National Park

463009567
Howard Snyder—Getty ImagesWild Goose Island in Saint Mary’s Lake in Glacier National Park at sunset.

Between Logan Pass, the Highline Trail, St. Mary Lake, and Grinnell Glacier, there’s plenty to see and do at Glacier National Park in Montana. There are 1,009 sites in all between the 13 campgrounds the park maintains. Prices range between $10 to $23 per night with an additional $25 for week-long parking during the summer months. Since many grounds operate on a first come, first served basis, you can check the status on this handy map for updates.

6. Grand Teton National Park

Majorly impressive alpine terrain is one of the highlights of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. You can float the great Snake River, drive the scenic 42-mile park loop, hike the Jenny Lake Trail, and more. Park your car for $30 or walk your way in for just $15. Camping at one of the six campgrounds is $22 per site (some have a utility surcharge). No reservations are accepted. Maximum stay at the Jenny Lake grounds is seven nights per year.

7. Grand Canyon National Park

Of course, Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park has to make this ultimate list for its expansive views and stunning geology. Talk about huge: The canyon itself is a mile deep, 277 river miles long, and 18 miles at its widest. Not only is this park a true national treasure, but it’s also considered one of the natural wonders of the world. Admission is $30 per vehicle. With camping, you need to act fast. There are three campgrounds total, and only two take reservations. Prices range between $18 to $25 per night with a variety of options.

8. Big Bend National Park

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Danita Delimont—Getty ImagesChisos Mountains, Evening Light on Pulliam Ridge, Big Bend National Park, Texas, USA

For mountains, desert, and all sorts of critters, visit Big Bend National Park in Texas. There are over 150 miles of trails that snake through desert oases, canyons, rivers, and more. Three frontcountry campgrounds offer 184 sites total for $14 a night. Vehicles cost $25 for the week and plain entry is $12 per person.

9. Badlands National Park

South Dakota’s Badlands National Park has some impressive fossil beds among its rocky skyline. The Notch Trail is challenging but definitely worth the effort for the view at the end. And everyone in your family can see the sights by driving the Loop Scenic Byway. Entry costs $15 for the week via car or $7 if you hike or bike. There are two campgrounds that cost $18 per night for a basic tent site.

10. Shenandoah National Park

Would you believe the Shenandoah National Park is a mere 75 miles outside Washington, D.C.? Believe it. Getting your vehicle into the park will cost $20 for the week. Camping at one of the park’s four campgrounds is a modest $15 to $17 per night. That’s not a lot to enjoy a good chunk of the Appalachian Trail, Bearfence Mountain, and the Old Rag Mountain Hike.

For information on all parks, visit the National Park Service.

More From Wise Bread:

 

MONEY freebies

Oregon Is Celebrating Marijuana Legalization With Free Weed

crowd of people smoking marijuana
Jim West—Alamy

Not only are people free to smoke weed—the weed is free.

As of July 1, new Oregon laws go into effect making it legal for adults ages 21 and up to possess and use recreational marijuana. It’s legal to grow marijuana in the state—up to four plants per residence, out of public view—and share it with other of-age adults too.

Applications for large-scale growers and retailers aren’t being accepted until early 2016, and no Oregon stores are expected to have marijuana for sale until the fall of 2016. For the time being, then, while recreational marijuana use is legal, people aren’t allowed to buy or sell it.

The odd situation—weed is legal, but there’s nowhere to buy it—has caused marijuana proponents and entrepreneurs to take the very welcomed step of simply giving samples away. The Oregonian reports that the Portland chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) will celebrate the momentous event by gathering on the west side of the Burnside Bridge at 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30. At midnight (therefore July 1), all 21+ adults with ID will be given free marijuana and cannabis seeds, courtesy of medical marijuana providers and activists.

“While it becomes legal to possess and cultivate cannabis, there is no legal place in Oregon to buy marijuana itself or cannabis seeds and starts,” a statement from the group explains. “Portland NORML will educate the public and our partners will give away thousands of seeds and hundreds of pounds of marijuana this year so Washington State and the black market do not benefit from our new marijuana legality.”

Later in the week, on Friday, July 3, an event called Weed the People is being held at the MCF Craft Brewing Systems facility in North Portland. Admission to the event isn’t free—advance tickets cost $40—but once visitors are inside, marijuana is indeed free to use on the premises or bring home for later enjoyment. Each attendee is welcomed to take as much as 7 grams, cultivated by a range of Oregon growers that have been producing the state’s supply of medicinal marijuana.

“This is more than free weed,” organizers say on the event site. “This is more than vendors, food and vapes. This is history in the making!”

Read next: What This 20-Year Study on Marijuana Use Means for the Pot Market

MONEY

Grateful Dead Fans Gouged in More Ways Than One for Reunion Shows

The Grateful Dead perform during a reunion concert Saturday, Aug. 3, 2002, in East Troy, Wis. From left are Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir and Mickey Hart.
Morry Gash—Associated Press The Grateful Dead perform during a reunion concert Saturday, Aug. 3, 2002, in East Troy, Wis. From left are Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Bob Weir and Mickey Hart.

Maybe a friend of the devil isn't a friend of mine.

“Every silver lining’s got a touch of grey.”

The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia sang these words in one of the band’s extremely rare hit singles back in 1987. The Dead was considered mostly past its prime even then. Of the 20 essential Grateful Dead shows as named by Rolling Stone, only five took place after 1977, and none of TIME’s picks for the best Dead shows were after 1975. Still, some of the revived interest in the 1980s and ’90s came from the children of the band’s original fans, and the Dead’s fan base has grown and grown and now ranges in age from roughly 8 to 80.

For the most diehard fans, the early 2015 announcement that surviving band members would reunite to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead—and 20 years since Garcia passed away—with a few “Fare Thee Well” concert shows was a dream come true. But the “touch of grey,” in this instance, is that the short-lived tour would be accompanied by some extremely unseemly business that has generated loads of aggravation (and loads of money) from the Dead’s mellow, peace-loving fans.

Almost immediately, ticket prices for the Dead’s shows at Chicago’s Soldier Field over July 4 weekend went bonkers. Before tickets had even gone on sale, ticket aggregators like TiqIQ reported that prices on the secondary market were averaging $876. The speculation and expected resale of Dead concert seats drew comparisons to the 2015 Super Bowl, when some seriously shady price gouging took place.

Some 500,000 people tried to buy tickets at face value ($59.50 to $199.50) when they actually did go on sale, and the extraordinary demand pushed scalper prices skyward. For a while, Chicago resale tickets were averaging $1,400 to $2,000, and the cheapest get-in price (for the worst seat available) was over $350. Greedy online sellers were asking over $100,000 apiece, and some fans forked over $10,000 or more per ticket.

The Dead shows had a similar effect on the Chicago hotel scene. Rates at some downtown properties during the shows were three, four, even five times more expensive than the same period in 2014, Bloomberg reported.

After the concert dates drew near, and after the band added additional tour dates at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, however, the bottom dropped out of the market. Earlier this week, tickets for the Santa Clara shows were available for as little as $19, and Chicago seats could be had for under $200.

As of Friday, the resale site StubHub was listing tickets in Santa Clara starting at $48 for this Saturday, and $36 for Sunday. Get-in prices for next weekend’s shows in Chicago ranged from $175 to $198. StubHub data indicates that average resale ticket prices remain quite high—$222 for Santa Clara, $862 for Chicago—and some of the asking prices on the secondary market are still absurd, at $5,000+ for prime seats.

According to the research of Beyond Pricing, a software development firm focused on dynamic pricing for Airbnb and other vacation rentals, the July 4 weekend lodging market in Chicago went on a rollercoaster ride similar to that of Grateful Dead concert tickets. Here’s what happened, and here’s why many Deadheads have a right to feel like they’ve been ripped off, per Beyond Pricing’s Ian McHenry:

Speculators snatched up hotel rooms as well as tickets in hope of turning a handsome profit. And some of these speculators succeeded. As soon as all the rooms and tickets were gone, people who missed out started to get desperate. The smart speculators slowly unleashed their inventory of rooms and tickets to these people, often at highly inflated rates. Scarcity and lack of supply collided with huge demand to equal astronomic prices.

More recently, however, ticket scalpers have been dumping seats at lower and lower prices because they don’t want to be stuck with them at show time. And hotels that were once listed as sold out, or that were attempting to gouge guests with insane markups are posting available rooms at rates that are a more reasonable 70% or so above the norm. Airbnb rates in Chicago have taken a nosedive as well, partly thanks to the dramatic increase in supply, “from 2,500 before the concert was announced to over 4,300 the week before the event,” Beyond Pricing notes. Like hotel rates, Airbnb rental rates next weekend in Chicago are about 70% higher than normal.

The speculators, scalpers, hotels, and Airbnb hosts still stand to cash in big time on the backs of diehard Deadheads over the next two weekends. But it appears that fans aren’t getting ripped off quite as badly as they were in the recent past.

In what’s been a long, strange, likely unpleasant and distasteful trip for legions of Grateful Dead fans, perhaps a few more words from Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia’s “Touch of Grey” will provide some comfort and allow them to enjoy the shows:

“It’s even worse than it appears / but it’s all right.”

Read next: Grateful Dead Tickets Once Priced in the Thousands Now Sell for $19

MONEY Advertising

Shark TV Fest Hilariously Admits It’s a Blatant Shark Week Rip-Off

On “Ambush Alley,” a group of Black Tip Sharks swim just beneath the water's surface, South Africa.
Aquavision TV Productions—National Geographic Channels On the Nat Geo Wild show “Ambush Alley,” a group of Black Tip Sharks swim just beneath the water's surface, South Africa.

"It's the same friggin' sharks anyway."

The Discovery Channel’s annual “Shark Week” has become a colossal event, not only in terms of being a ratings and marketing bonanza, but also in its role as the inspiration for a larger frenzy, so to speak, of shark-related merchandise, attractions, and entertainment.

Naturally, Discover Channel’s cable TV competitors have tried to get in on the sharktastic action with shark-related programming of their own. But no “Shark Week” imitator has done it quite as blatantly, or hilariously, as the Nat Geo Wild channel’s event dubbed “SharkFest,” which just so happens to kick off on Sunday, July 5, the same day as “Shark Week” begins.

AdWeek called attention to the new “SharkFest” promo, which features comedian Rory Scovel owning up to the way Nat Geo Wild is overtly trying to muddy the waters and steal “Shark Week’s” thunder. “We want you to confuse the two. And you will. And we don’t care—because it gets us ratings,” Scovel says. “We’re going to continue to do it” in the hopes that you “accidentally watch us.”

Most importantly, Scovel points out, viewers shouldn’t care whether they’re watching the sharks chomping seals and menacingly bumping up against shark cages on the Discovery Channel or Nat Geo Wild. “It’s the same friggin’ sharks anyways,” he says. “Sharks cannot sign an exclusive contract with a network … we’re pretty certain on that.”

Scovel then tosses out a couple awesomely lazy and honest slogans:

“SharkFest: Yeah, maybe it’s not our idea. Who cares? Just watch it.”

“SharkFest: It’s on the same time as the other thing. On Nat Geo Wild.”

Watch the whole promo here:

The ad isn’t just funny, though. It’s quite possibly brilliant. “The idea came up of being more transparent about viewer confusion during Shark Week. We thought it would be funny to own that and be playful with it,” Tyler Korba, Nat Geo Wild’s creative director for on-air marketing, explained at the PromaxBDA Brief blog. “If you can’t have fun doing TV, you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Viewers are going to know the channel is ripping off “Shark Week,” so the thinking is it’s best to get that out of the way—and even poke fun at themselves. “It’s a little bit of aikido,” said Korba. “Once you’ve called it what it is, once you’ve owned it, you’ve turned a potentially awkward thing into a strength.”

MONEY

Grateful Dead Tickets Once Priced in the Thousands Now Sell for $19

150623_EM_GratefulDead
C. Flanigan—FilmMagic/Getty Images Bassist Phil Lesh and Guitarist Bob Weir of The Dead perform at the Shoreline Amphitheatre on May 10, 2009 in Mountain View, California.

What a long strange trip it's been for reunion tour ticket prices.

Not long ago, tickets to this summer’s much-anticipated Grateful Dead reunion shows were averaging $2,000 apiece, and some sellers were asking more than $100,000 for three-day passes to the event. Fast-forward to late June, however, and it’s easy enough to buy a ticket for this upcoming weekend’s shows for less than the cost of a concert T-shirt.

The madness kicked off in early 2015, when the Grateful Dead announced it would play a few 50th anniversary reunion shows this summer featuring the “core four” members of the band plus special guests including Phish’s Trey Anastasio. Originally, the plan was for a grand total of three final “Fare Thee Well” shows only at Chicago’s Soldier Field, the last venue Jerry Garcia played with the Dead shortly before he died of a heart attack in 1995.

When tickets went on sale via Ticketmaster in February, some 500,000 people tried to purchase seats online at face values of between $59.50 to $199.50. All the tickets that were then available sold out almost immediately, and then scalpers took advantage of sky-high demand and very limited supply by asking—and often, it seems, getting—per-ticket prices that could have bought a handful of old VW vans. One seller listed a three-day pass for $116,000 on the secondary market, while at least one buyer paid $13,000 for a single ticket to the final show on Sunday, July 5.

Within a few weeks, the Dead announced a pair of “warm-up” shows on its home turf in northern California, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on June 27-28. At first, it was assumed that hotel and ticket prices for both locations would soar, as would demand for the shows on pay-per-view TV.

Based on the latest ticket prices on the secondary market, quite the opposite is true, at least for the California shows. Over the weekend, the local NBC affiliate reported that Grateful Dead tickets for the show on Saturday, June 27, at Levi’s Stadium were being resold for $35 online, while tickets for Sunday were going for as little as $27.

As of Monday afternoon, sellers were listing tickets on the secondary resale site StubHub priced starting at $30 for the Saturday show in California. Ticket prices were listed from a mere $20.33 for the show on Sunday, June 28. On Tuesday morning, prices for the Santa Clara shows dropped yet again, down to $27.25 for Saturday and just $19 per ticket for Sunday. That’s with all taxes and fees included, mind you.

Prices for the shows in Chicago have retreated as well, though not quite so low. Tickets could be had for $200 apiece for each of the shows on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (July 3-5), while three-day passes were listed starting at just under $600. That’s not cheap by any means. But it’s quite a deal compared to $116,000.

Read next: Here Are 4 of the Grateful Dead’s Best Shows Ever

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