Ticket Scalping

Ticket Scalping

Getting good tickets for Van Morrison's first show in Winnipeg wasn't easy or inexpensive for some fans, who found the best seats had been sold to ticket resellers moments after their release.

Within 10 minutes of the start of ticket sales in February, most of the floor seats for the Thursday night concert had been scooped up by a host of web-based companies looking to resell them — in some cases at triple the original selling price.

Ray Beaudry wanted the best seats possible, so he tried to buy his tickets the moment they went on sale.

"I was trying to get through on their website, the Ticketmaster website, hitting refresh, refresh," he said. "I got on at 10:03," just minutes after the ticket sale opened.

Yet the tickets Beaudry got weren't anywhere near the stage — they're toward the back of the auditorium, two levels up from the floor.

This wasn't the first time Beaudry has been disappointed in this way. He's had the same problem for the last five concerts he's tried to attend.

"It's too bad in a sense, because we're not looking for the best deal possible. We're looking for the best seat possible. And we just can't seem to get them."

The good seats are being snapped up by ticket resellers, said Kevin Donnelly, general manager of the MTS Centre, where Thursday's concert will be held.

"We have brokers from Vancouver or brokers from New Jersey that are buying tickets in Winnipeg, really taking a Winnipegger out of the equation for that seat.

"Then that broker is putting that ticket on sale at an inflated rate, so it's punitive to the fan locally, for sure. It's forcing them … if they want that seat, to pay through the teeth for it."
The Amusements Act reads: "No person shall sell, barter or exchange for anything any ticket of admission to a place of amusement for a price or consideration greater than that paid or given therefore to the owner of the place of amusement to which it is an admission."...

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