Ticket rules could be loss for scalpers for Springsteen show

Ticket rules could be loss for scalpers for Springsteen show
Published: Dec. 11, 2015 at 9:36 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 18, 2015 at 10:22 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) -  The fan base may have grayed a little more since "The Boss" played the River City three years ago, but E.J. Huber is willing to part with a little more green for Bruce Springsteen, when The River Tour 2016 comes to the KFC Yum! Center on Feb. 21.

"If you're first in line, there's an advantage," said Huber, a fan since 1979 . "We got here last night at 10 o'clock."

Twelve hours in line beat a few minutes online. Two prime seats when ticket windows opened at the Yum! and nationwide at 10 a.m. Friday cost $140 apiece.

"This was kind of a got to do," Kim Storms said. "But since you get to get your tickets here, you're saving money rather than buying from some of the websites online."

Especially the so-called "secondary market." Some re-sellers, or brokers, were touting a block of eight premium seats - the buying limit - for more than $3,000, or about $378 per seat. New York's Attorney General has threatened to investigate three such sites for suspicions of fraud. Namely, re-selling tickets they hadn't secured already, or wouldn't be able to get based on Springsteen's own rules for purchase.

"You have to have that credit card that you purchased the ticket (with), either from our box office or from TicketMaster," KFC Yum! Center General Manager Dennis Petrullo said. "You have to have that credit card when you get to the building, and it has to be swiped."

Those rules apply to 7,000 of the 16,000 seats available for the Louisville show.

"It ain't what I would rather do, but it works," David Hayes, of Lynnview, said.

Hayes counts himself among the victims of scalpers and fraud. He paid almost double face value to get a ticket voucher for a sold-out show by another artist, only to see the voucher fail to pass the ticket scanner.

Hayes and friend David Linnig bought their tickets in person.

"I just would feel so much better having the actual tickets in my hand," Linnig said.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Ticket brokers back off 'speculative' Springsteen ticket sales for Yum! Center show]

It begs to ask how sites could guarantee prime seating.

"You will be mailed the original card used to purchase the tickets," wrote "Anthony," a customer service representative for the online site box-officetickets.com. "It will most likely be a prepaid Gift Card. They do not check for ID, which is why we are able to sell tickets for the event this way."

But KFC Yum! Center will check IDs, Petrullo promises.

"Even if your brother bought them, you'll not only need his credit card, you'll need to have a letter from your brother saying you've allowed this transfer to happen," he said. "And even then, maybe that'll work."

The verification will take extra time, Petrullo said. It's why few artists make it a contractual condition.

"This is nothing new," wrote Cameron Papp, communications manager for the online ticket re-seller StubHub. "As always, buyers are protected by our Fan Protect Guarantee so should a fan run into an issue at the gate he, or she, can contact StubHub and we will make the situation right."

Kim Storms finds precautions reassuring.

"I don't see how there could be anything go wrong with it," she said. "Hopefully, we won't have a snowstorm in February."

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