Orders are now being invalidated:
This doesn’t deal with the hundreds or perhaps thousands of tickets that were printed yesterday by those who believe they bought valid tickets or may have resold those printed tickets.
So I have been told by an inside source that Sporting KC is considering claiming that the code “13stmcup” was hacked and that tickets were purchased using that code before they should have been. I find that claim interesting as teams traditionally email presale codes days in advance of the actual “on sale” time and Ticketmaster only turns on codes during the specific times and for the specific seats that the code is valid for. It seems like reality may be somewhere in between.
The question for me comes down to this, was this the code for SKC Season Ticket Members to buy their seats for the event? I don’t believe it was, two SKC STM’s told me they got a unique code for their specific seats, that this was for additional seat purchases. So if that is the case, then these tickets were “assigned” to any particular fan, but were going on sale with a presale code emailed to select fans to allow them to purchase remaining seats after the STM seats were bought. If that is the case then these tickets would have been bought for friends, family member, co-workers and such, some would have been bought to be resold, so why does it matter who got the code (which was leaked likely by a SKC STM) and bought tickets? At this point your STM’s got their seats and this was to fill the rest of the stadium, should someone who lives in KC get better access to a league event like MLS Cup than someone who lives in Salt Lake City? I don’t believe so.
This comes down to damage control, I have yet to see an official cancellation notice from Ticketmaster to any of the fans I know that bought tickets. If those tickets are made invalid and then those seats resold, it will cause huge ripples in the secondary market and could be a disaster on the day of MLS Cup as fans try to enter the event with tickets that could be invalid.
So when tickets go on sale before their “release” to the general public there is often a code created by the seller that is used on the website of the company that actually handles selling the tickets (sometimes run by the seller and sometimes a third party like ticketmaster), these codes are often emailed to one particular group to use, but very rarely do they ever stay just with that group as people share those codes with friends and family members who might want to purchase tickets as well. It is very common and happens with almost every US Soccer match, as well as many concerts and other events.
So it shouldn’t have come as any surprise to Sporting Kansas City when their code for additional ticket purchases by their STM’s (season ticket members) was leaked in a number of places online yesterday. It also shouldn’t surprise anyone that some fans of Salt Lake got ahold of that code (it was actually shared online by a SKC fan) and started buying tickets to the big match. Instead of cutting their losses and just invalidating the code it appears that SKC is going a step further, and invalidating all the tickets purchased with that code. Now let’s be very clear this wasn’t the unique code sent to each SKC STM that allowed them to purchase their normal season seat, this was an additional code to buy the thousands of seats that aren’t STM seats. So now we have a problem if SKC does in fact invalidate the tickets (who knows how many were sold? hundreds or thousands? but those tickets were legally bought using a generic presale code, I logged in with the code yesterday and at no time did it say that only SKC STM’s could use it to purchase tickets. It allowed me to see what seats were available, there were plenty to go around and clearly people that are fans of both teams were buying tickets.
So what happens now? If MLS allows SKC to invalidate all these tickets it will create a nightmare for both the club and the league, as those tickets have already hit the secondary markets like craigslist, stubhub and other sites. Fans will have bought them, made travel plans and will show up to the match expecting to get in, only to be turned away. There will be no refunds for travel costs, or for the disappointment of not being able to see the match. Nope both the league and SKC will look like chumps on the biggest stage, the story will get out to the bigger media outlets who will do more digging than did a local KC reporter who put out this story, where SKC seems to admit their presale went haywire.
Haywire, meaning that they were outsmarted by their own fans and by RSL fans who clearly had a desire to buy tickets, see this isn’t about an illegal purchase of tickets it is about fans outsmarting the team. So the message will be that RSL fans aren’t good enough to have access to open and available tickets to the match, that they are only good enough for a 5% allocation despite what appears to be about 40% of the seats to this match being available. I am not saying that trying to stack the stadium with SKC fans via their STM’s is wrong, RSL would have done the same thing, the issue is the reaction at having their method of selling additional tickets compromised and then throwing what appears to be a temper tantrum and overreacting to what is likely a thousand or so tickets being purchased by RSL fans
It is interesting to note in the kansascity.com article that SKC says they will work with their fans who bought tickets with the code that they will be able to buy valid tickets. This means that ticketmaster either will be releasing the personal information of those who bought tickets (names, addresses, and who knows what else) or that SKC will now try another generic code that is going to once again get leaked. Instead of cutting their losses and admitting they got out smarted by both their own fans as well as RSL fans, and learning from it, they are creating what will be a blackeye for both SKC and for MLS Cup.
Just so you can know the truth about things, you only need to look at a couple of posts on The Official Facebook Page of Sporting KC Client Services. where they tell their STM’s that they need to pay their invoices for their MLS Cup tickets by 10 am yesterday:
and then where they talk about the generic code that was emailed out for them to buy tickets yesterday (this is the code that was leaked):
now they are going to spin this story so they don’t look like jerks, they will say that RSL fans did something illegal (not true) and that is why they will put the entire MLS Cup experience at risk for hundreds and thousands of fans. It is a sad thing that their reaction to getting caught with their pants down isn’t to pull them up and to move on with life, but rather to try to put blame on the people who caught them.
That’s How I See It