Big game ticket scams worry students

POSTED: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - 6:13pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - 6:16pm

With only days left until the purple and gold take on the #2 ranked Crimson Tide, fans are looking for ways to get their hands on tickets to the game. Now, scammers are taking advantage of that search.

Tickets to the showdown are showing up on websites for thousands of dollars, and some of them might be fake.

Most students wouldn’t know the difference between a real LSU game ticket, and a fake one.

“Unless I had mine my hand like I do right now, and held it up next to the [fake] one, that’s the only way I’d be able to do it,” says senior Haley Schmitt.

“I’m sure the guy scanning the tickets would know the difference, but I don’t,” adds Ethan Greenblatt.

It makes Tiger fans nervous to know there are people out there who use that to their advantage.

“The fake tickets, that’s messed up,” says senior Justin Gilberti. “That’s taking advantage of students.”

Brian Broussard is the assistant athletic director for ticket operations at LSU. He says he sees this problem every year. “It definitely happens a lot when it’s SEC games,” he says. “It depends on the match-up.”

He says imitation tickets start showing up that could pass for the real deal. “There’s a number of security measures on the tickets themselves to where we know that they’re actually tickets, but to the naked eye, uh, I mean to someone who has never seen a ticket before, it’s a little harder.”

Broussard says there are a number of ways that fans can avoid being scammed. He suggests buying from a credible source, like a friend or someone you know, or try a ticketing website with a good reputation.

Fans should always make sure they get the correct contact information from the person, or site, where they bought the tickets. He also suggests steering clear ticket scalpers.

“Just be aware of what the actual ticket looks like. The counterfeits are very, very good,” Broussard explains. “We haven’t seen any, but we know they’re out there, so just be aware.”

Once fans have paid for the tickets, there’s no guarantee that they’ll walk away with a seat. “It’s pretty much buyer beware. You’re on your own at that point, and you’re out of luck, I guess, unfortunately,” Broussard says.

It’s a frustration for Tiger fans who just want to be in the crowd on game day.

“On a scale of one to ten, I’d be a ten. I’d be very upset by it,” says Greenblatt. “It’s the game of the century.”

If you think you’ve fallen victim to ticket fraud, there are several things that you can do. Fans can go to the University of Alabama ticket office at the Coleman Coliseum and officials there will make sure they are real. That is available from Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm.

University officials can also take a look at your tickets on game day. They’ll be standing outside of Gate 3 or Gate 32.

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