Viewpoint – Ticketing companies give fans nightmares

By Jamil Oakford/managing editor

For my birthday this year, I wanted to actually celebrate it. As luck would have it, one my favorite groups announced it would be in town on my birthday. So of course, I had to buy a ticket.

I tried to purchase tickets on AXS’ site just as they went on sale. Needless to say, it was a madhouse.

Seats shown as available were actually already purchased or being purchased, but the site failed to update the page, leaving people scrambling trying to choose each and every seat imaginable to see what would allow them to get to the checkout screen. Within two hours, the site notified everyone that tickets were sold out in the venue’s four front sections.

The confusing part was that tickets in the front sections of the venue weren’t actually sold out. One offer on the main event page revealed several open seats in each section they were selling as premium seats. In fact, just one row ahead of the very seat I purchased for $200 were two seats (the minimum amount for premium tickets) priced at $450 each, which with taxes and fees added on would have been well over $1,000.

What about these seats just in front of mine were so special that they deserved to be double the original price? Sure, they’re 12 rows away from the front, but is that worth $1,000 when I only paid $200 to be 13 rows away from the stage?

I guess we’ll never know.

Ticket vendors provide the vital first step for fans getting to see their favorite athletes or artists in action up close. But often, these sites can serve as more of a nightmare than a gateway to an exciting event.

Whether it be through crippling service fees and taxes or just the simple act of trying to choose seats, buying tickets is a process and usually not a pleasant one.

It’s hard to reconcile why they charge extra for premium tickets other than people are willing to pay them.

As a fan, buying tickets for any event just seems like a hassle and a perfect way to drain money out of my account. For many fans, no matter if it’s a sports fan or a fan of a music artist, many of them will say any price is worth it. And in some ways, I can agree.

But memories aren’t priceless. Sometimes they cost $1,000.