Reports of exorbitantly high prices for tickets to attend an event in which New York Yankees pitcher Wang Chien-ming (王建民) would appear next month have caused an outcry.
The event, in which Wang is scheduled to appear and sign autographs, is scheduled for Dec. 16. Local media reported that to attend the event -- which organizers claim will be Wang's only public appearance in Taiwan this season -- fans would have to purchase tickets and Major League Baseball products totaling around US$500 (NT$16,580).
At a press conference called in response to the reports, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tang Bi-a (唐碧娥) called on the organizer of the event to publicize details and clarify the situation so that Wang fans could decide whether they want to spend US$500 to see their hero.
"Two years ago, NBA star Michael Jordan's 90-second flash appearance sparked a fury among local fans. We don't want to see the same thing happen again," Tang said at a press conference.
Tang was referring to an appearance by Jordan in 2004, in which he was invited by Nike Taiwan to an event that promised he would "meet the fans" in Taipei. His brief appearance on stage was much shorter than Nike Taiwan had promised.
"I would like to pay to attend the autograph-signing event, but NT$16,000 is a big burden for me. In addition to an expensive ticket, I may also need to buy some Major League Baseball-related products," said Wang fan Wu Sheng-ting (吳聲霆) at the press conference.
"I hope the organizer can set a more reasonable price and let us know how the activity is supposed to go," Wu said, adding that he earns only NT$21,000 a month.
Chang Chia-lin (張嘉麟), a consumer ombudsmen, told the press that the organizer has an obligation to explain the details of the event in advance.
Meanwhile, Tang said that Wang was not aware of the rumored ticket price.
"I spoke to Wang's mother on the phone earlier and she said that Wang did not know about the price. It was arranged by his agency," Tang said.
According to yesterday's edition of the Chinese-language United Evening News, the event organizer said that the alleged price is "absolutely not correct."
The organizer is a sports store located in Tainan City, which specializes in making baseball cards.
The store's owner, Kuo Chun-li (郭俊利), didn't mention in the report whether the proceeds from the event would go to charity.
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