Some fans bought Super Bowl tickets but couldn’t see the game

AP

When you buy Super Bowl tickets from a broker, that broker doesn’t necessarily have those tickets in hand. Usually, the broker can get the tickets before the game. Sometimes, the broker can’t — and the customer is out of luck.

That’s what happened to a lot of fans this year, when Seahawks and Patriots fans traveled to Phoenix in large numbers, meaning the demand for tickets was much greater than the supply. As a result, some fans who purchased tickets in advance from brokers arrived in Phoenix only to find out that the brokers couldn’t produce the tickets they’d sold.

Patriots fan Kevin Sheehan told the ABC affiliate in Rochester, New York that he and his dad bought Super Bowl tickets four months ago at $1,800 each. It was only when they arrived in Phoenix that they found out the broker didn’t have the tickets. They watched their team win the Super Bowl on TV instead.

“This was big for both of us,” Sheehan said. “To be duped like that, they didn’t tell us until we get to Arizona.”

Another ticket broker, Vivid Seats, admitted some of its customers were left out of the game despite having paid in advance for tickets. Vivid Seats blamed that on “an unprecedented market environment for tickets.”

For brokers and individuals who actually had tickets to sell on Super Bowl Sunday, the going rate was about $9,000 a ticket, for the cheap seats. Spending thousands of dollars on a ticket is a significant investment for a one-day experienced. You’d hope that spending the money would guarantee that you actually get to experience the game.

60 responses to “Some fans bought Super Bowl tickets but couldn’t see the game

  1. Glad to see this story! I bought one ticket the Monday after the Pats best the Ravens for $2500 off a broker on EBay. I booked my rooms for the weekend, paid for parking, and took Monday off of work. Then 4 days later I get an email from PayPal saying my money from my ticket was refunded! The company said PayPal canceled the transactions for a lot of companies, but I found it shady they never told me and I had to call them. I panicked and bought a ticket section 435, the Tuesday of the game for $5100 off Barrys Tickets (more reputable). I was mad but also relived because 24 hours later I checked ticket prices and they were $8,800 minimum and never came down. So I see it as saving a few grand.

  2. If someone sells you fake tickets (or tickets they couldn’t get for whatever reason), you should get double your money back and one free punch.

  3. Besides the fact that “your team” can lose the game, this is the 2nd biggest reason I’d prefer to stay home and watch there.

    Just can’t imagine shelling out the bones to go and see your team lose in person. Defeat hurts enough.

  4. The fact that there is no liability beyond the price paid for the ticket for being unable to fulfill a contract that necessarily involves other expenses (plane tickets, hotel) seems unreasonable. What is the disincentive to duping people this way? If you can get to tickets to them, great – money made. If not, no big deal, just refund the purchase. Meanwhile the customer gets the shaft.

  5. Reminds me of packer fans that bought packer stock only to find out they really aren’t real shares nor are they owners of the team.

  6. As much as I don’t like Jerry Jones, at least he had every intention of getting all ticket buyers into the game until the fire Marshall close that section down.

    It should be a crime for a ticket broker to sell tickets that he doesn’t have in hand.

  7. The NFL gives such few tickets to the teams actually playing in the game. That means that fans of those team have a very small chance of buying face value tickets through the season ticket holder lottery.

    70,000 tickets for this game – 44,000 should have been allocated to each of the teams with the requirements that 15,000 be allocated to be given to season ticket holders. The other 7,000 to be given to friends and family of players, coaches and staff and other corporate partners of the team.

  8. So how exactly do these “brokers” get tickets to the Super Bowl? Taken from NFL’s FAQ on their website –

    “How can I buy Super Bowl XLIX tickets?

    The demand for tickets to the Super Bowl greatly exceeds the supply. The majority of tickets are allotted to the two participating teams, and to a lesser extent through each of the other NFL teams. Remaining tickets for the general public are made available through a random drawing. There is no other means for the general public to purchase tickets. The NFL does not sell tickets to travel or ticket agents.”

    Nowhere do I see the word “broker” anywhere in that paragraph.

  9. If a flight gets overbooked and you get bumped, the airline will usually comp you ticket on the next flight.

    Which means that anyone screwed by a broker should be given a free ticket to the next Super Bowl. It’s only fair.

  10. The best seat in the house is your own living room. Fans get screwed every year by unscrupulous ticket brokers who can’t back up what they sell and look like frauds and charlatans in the process. Caveat Emptor!

  11. I have been to numerous AZ games in the past, so me and some friends went down to have a couple beers and check out the tailgating around the stadium ,only to find all options normally open to the public were now fenced in “NFL experiance” tents. There were no public venders, porta-potties were actually full to run over point, absolutely no game day activities for the everyday joe. The NFL has ruined Americas game for the common fan to ever see a Superbowl…..all over $$$$. Rated the day a D- because Buffalo Wild Wings saved the day from being an F- Day

  12. Only problem I have watching the “Big Game” on tv at my parties is that I can’t change the channel during the commercials because all the dorks can’t seem to get enough of them. “Big Game” commercials stopped being fresh before the internet.

  13. TIL that even the Redskins have a better chance at getting into the Super Bowl than I do..

  14. Once again the NFL sticks it to the fan who supports them 24/7. Rather than giving the fans 75% of the tickets it rewards corporate and brokers who scam the fan.

  15. Wall Street strikes again…

    Yes..WALL STREET. What do you think they were sold? Fictitious claims on a ticket, aka DERIVATIVES.

    Just like with the real life economic prospects of America, it makes a mess of things.

    If you ever wanted to understand, in a practical fashion, what derivatives are and how they can blow up on you, this is it.

    It’s also not unprecedented ticketwise. This has happened before, and it will happen again, just like a Wall Street derivatives collapse.

  16. gtodriver says:
    Feb 3, 2015 9:18 PM
    As much as I don’t like Jerry Jones, at least he had every intention of getting all ticket buyers into the game until the fire Marshall close that section down.

    It should be a crime for a ticket broker to sell tickets that he doesn’t have in hand.
    =========

    It is a crime. That’s why the brokers don’t do it.

    What these people did, whether they are smart enough to realize it or not, is purchase an OPTION to buy a ticket from the broker assuming the broker can get them. As long as the broker returns the money, no crime has been committed.

    It’s in the fine print. If they didn’t read it, that’s on them.

  17. I hope the law intervines. You know the brokers got some tickets and gave them to their highest paying customers instead of to the people who paid first.

  18. jxt2521 says:
    Feb 3, 2015 10:13 PM
    I hope the law intervines. You know the brokers got some tickets and gave them to their highest paying customers instead of to the people who paid first.
    =====

    No laws were broken. The customers didn’t read the fine print. See my last comment

  19. Some of these brokers should have been sharing a cell with Warren Sapp on Monday morning.

  20. “Reminds me of packer fans that bought packer stock only to find out they really aren’t real shares nor are they owners of the team.”

    That piece of paper has more value than the entire Viking franchise combined.

  21. Watching at home let me avoid all the commercials and the half time show by switching over to the Alice Cooper Bio on Palladia. Refreshments were better and cheaper, company was excellent, and no lining up for the honor of relieving myself in a dirty nasty bathroom.

  22. Aka “Someone paid $9000 for your ticket so here’s all of your $1800 back and here’s another $100 for all of the trouble.”

  23. These companies had the tickets all along and basically what they do is sell them to the poor bastards from out of town and claim ” they won’t have them til they get out there” and then they wait to see what kind of market opens up. If it explodes like it did in Pheonix do you think these scumbags are gonna honor an arrangement for $1800 a ticket which is about 800% profit or turn around and make up a piss poor excuse and then sell it for $7500!!!!! If the market is soft and tickets sell for less they hit you with the old non-refundable bull so you can’t go elsewhere and save!!!

  24. How hard is it to stop the scams? Print one non-transferable ticket per seat. No Internet scams, no fraud, no tentative extra seating plans. You buy a ticket to a known seat and it is FedEx to you. The only legal seller should be the NFL itself. No brokers or scalpers, no ticket master or stub hub. If you can’t make it you should have to FedEx it back or turn it in to a kiosk on site to get a refund. Selling tickets that do not exist should be classified as fraud. Same goes for the overselling of plane tickets.

  25. It’s like buying a put in options. The brokers sold something they didn’t have in the hopes that the price would come down and they could get the tickets at less than they charged. The brokers got short squeezed. It was probably done by the big brokers to shutdown the little guys.

  26. I hope none of them were from the fans of NFL teams who buy regular season tickets. Pretty sure Paul McCartney isn’t one of them.

  27. But selling the ticket keeps the seat here… that’s why you have the ticket. See, you know how to sell the ticket, but you just don’t know how to hold the seat. And that’s really the most important part of the seat: the holding. Anybody can just sell a ticket…

  28. This was actually all the NFL’s doing.

    They waited to release the last bunch of tickets until Fri before the game, rather than on Mon-Tues that they traditionally have.

    Did this to force everyone to use the NFL aftermarket (scalpers) rather than the independent brokers.

    Cuz, Roger got to get the owners every last Dolla…….

    Even if it screws over some fans 🙁

  29. “Yeah I know you paid $1,800.00 for these tickets 5 months ago, and I’ve had your money ever since then, but this guy just paid me $8,000.00, so here is your money back, have a nice day!”

    I think a judge somewhere should stick it to them and put an end to this crap. At a minimum they should get $8,000.00 a ticket, if that is what they were sold for.

  30. If you buy your tickets 4 months in advance why in the world would agree to basically pick them up at will call? ,

  31. “It should be a crime for a ticket broker to sell tickets that he doesn’t have in hand.”

    That would, by definition, make them a dealer instead of a broker. What would be fair is to require that they can’t offer to sell without having a seller on hand committed to a certain sale price.

  32. Don’t feel sorry for anyone. It’s pretty stupid to travel across the country with no tickets in your hand. I would never do it.

  33. You mean to say that someone willing to pay two grand for a ticket to a game got taken for a ride? My surprise level is at about a zero.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.