Published August 10, 2011
WINNIPEG - For those NHL Winnipeg Jets fans who didn't get season tickets, there's still a chance to get to see a game or two.
The team is putting the finishing touches on an Internet portal for its winnipegjets.com website that will enable season ticket holders to sell ducats that they can’t use in a safe and secure manner.
Here’s how it works: the 13,000 season ticket holders can post tickets that they want to sell on the website, members of the public can peruse what’s up for grabs and then buy them online just like they would any concert or sporting event ticket.
The team will then reimburse the season ticket holder. A still-to-be determined processing fee will be charged, too.
Mitch Brennan, the newly hired director of ticket administration with True North Sports & Entertainment, said the service is offered league-wide and has proven very popular in hockey hotbeds such as Vancouver and Montreal.
The plan is to launch the website next month, around the same time as a limited number of game day tickets are put on sale.
The Jets’ first exhibition game is scheduled for Sept. 20, three days after training camp opens.
“The main goal is to provide a safe and authorized venue for people to resell their tickets on the secondary market. We know it’s happening, everybody knows it’s happening. We want to provide an avenue where they know the tickets are authentic, there’s no possibility of fraud and they’re adhering to the laws of the province,” Brennan said.
Those laws stipulate that event tickets can only be resold at face value. Scalpers who resell tickets for a markup are breaking the law.
That’s not to say scalping doesn’t or won’t happen. There are currently several dozen tickets for sale at www.stubhub.com for the team’s home opener on Oct. 9 against the Montreal Canadiens, ranging in price from $500 to $3,750 each.
Season tickets at the MTS Centre cost anywhere from $39 to $129 per seat per game.
Brennan said unregulated ticket sales on such sites lend themselves to fraudulent activity because there’s such a quick turnaround and no physical goods change hands. An invalid ticket can be sold the day before a game and when the buyer is refused entry at the arena with a fake, there’s no recourse.
According to the Jets, a number of would-be ticket buyers have been duped by fraudsters since the drive to 13,000 wrapped up in June.
(Winnipeg Free Press)