It appears #TicketGate continues for MLS Cup (Updated)

MC13_Cup_logo_COL

So the only question remaining behind all of the #TicketGate issues is who does blame for bad policies, poor reactions, and overall the mess fall on.  Is it TicketMaster, MLS or Sporting KC? I from the start have believed that SKC has been responsible for the majority of the mess, but it has been funny to have SKC fans try to defend their club by saying it is all on TicketMaster, who created a bad code, turned on sales before they should have been, and yes even made up the policy of only selling in the KC market.  Of course I know that none of those are true, I many years ago worked for TM and they are just a vendor who does what their clients tell them to (that still leave a SKC or MLS question.  One fan asked TM about the blocking out of market sales for the General Public portion of MLS Cup sales and here is their response:

TM policy

I know that is small, so here is the text of the TM response:

Thank you for reaching out to us regarding tickets for:
MLS Cup 2013 – Sporting Kansas City v. Real Salt Lake
Sporting Park, Kansas City, KS
Sat, Dec 7, 2013 03:00 PM

We understand your frustration and wish that we could assist you, but unfortunately, the venue/promoters for the game have set up “geo-limiting” for this game. (geographical limiting)

This means that only fans who have their billing address in the state where the game is taking place, may purchase tickets.

Please note that Ticketmaster do not own the tickets that we sell. We sell under contract for the venue/promoters and as such, we have to follow their rules and instructions for the event.

If a fan who has their billing address in the geo limited state, resells tickets, you can purchase tickets from them and attend the game.

We hope that you are able to get tickets for the game.

If you need anything else, we’re always here for you – just reply to this email or visit Ticketmaster.com.

So that should at least clear up anyone who wants to blame TicketMaster for the issues involving the sales of MLS Cup Tickets.  The original post is after the jump:

So beyond the ever changing story of SKC and their lies to both the public, MLS and their own fans about what happened with the “leaked” ticket code last week, it appears they have upped the ante in their attempt to freeze out not only RSL fans, but any MLS fan who might live outside of the KC area.

Tomorrow whatever remaining tickets were left, in addition to some standing room only tickets for MLS Cup were due to go on sale to the general public tomorrow morning at 10 am CST:

MLS Cup GP

 

now I don’t expect a lot of tickets to be available (despite over 1,500 on the scalpers market) to the general public, but it was a chance for fans in Salt Lake to get a chance to fairly get some tickets are the normal price as well as the many other fans of MLS who might want to make the trip to KC for the match, but if you look closely you will find some changes:

Locals Only

that is a bit small:

locals 2

 

Yes it would appear that the “General Public” sale will not be to the actual General Public, but only those who SKC thinks are worthy of attending MLS Cup, or those that live within the KC area.  This doesn’t surprise me in any way given the whole way things have been dealt with since the very start of ticket sales.

There have been parts of the ticketing process that I have no issues with: The “visa” presale was out of tickets in minutes, which makes you wonder how many tickets were available.  Then you have the SKC STM’s purchasing the number of tickets equal to their season seats, using their unique code, which is perfectly acceptable.  Heck I was even OK with allowing a generic code to be distributed to the SKC STM’s for additional seat purchases, until when that code leaked and several hundred tickets (out of a pool of 5,000) were purchased by some RSL fans who had the code shared with them by a SKC STM, and instead of just turning off the code the team lied (or mislead the public, including their fans) and over reacted in my opinion by voiding those purchases.  I am OK with SKC releasing the tickets returned to them by MLS as an additional purchasing chance for their STM’s (again using their unique account codes), even though I believe those tickets probably should have gone into the general public pool.

However when you get to a general public sales event and you restrict it then you make my initial reaction to voiding the earlier tickets bought by both RSL and SKC fans with the leaked code seem very valid.  I get trying to ensure that your STM’s have a fair chance at tickets, now however you are saying that only fans in the KC area are worthy of buying tickets to MLS Cup during what is supposed to be a general public sale. If you read the fine print, it is interesting that they are going to take 2 days to review the tickets to determine who is entitled to them.

I don’t know if this is simply SKC trying to avoid what happened with their leaked code, that being RSL fans buying tickets, or what but given the fact that there are over 1500 tickets being scalped to MLS Cup (4 that I know of by RSL fans, the rest in sections RSL fans haven’t been allowed to by tickets in, only SKC and MLS folks have).  It seems the message is clear, RSL fans are not wanted unless they are willing to pay 4X face value to a SKC fans who is scalping their tickets.  It sure would have been nice if MLS had said something more than:

Earlier this week, a limited number of RSL fans gained access to a secure link that had been established solely for Sporting Kansas City season ticket members to purchase MLS Cup tickets. Because RSL fans were not authorized to use this link, the purchase orders were not fulfilled

on the topic, but they have been strangely silent on the topic.  Now I know there has been a great deal of confusion about who is running what when it comes to MLS Cup.  It has been funny hearing people from KC tell me online that SKC is telling them it is a league event and that MLS is running it, which is true for many parts of the event.  It was enlightening to hear that a MLS fan who purchased the MLS Cup GSL (guaranteed seat license) has been told that they would need to deal with SKC who is running all the tickets for the MLS Cup.

I had determined earlier in the week that due to all of this, that I simply was going to avoid going to MLS Cup, I had started to change my mind earlier today when I was informed I had been granted credentials to take photos at the match, but if they are going to treat fans in such a manner then I want nothing to do with it.  MLS by their lack of supervision and guidance have seemed to let SKC run with policies that seem to be guided by their attempt to keep anyone outside of their fans from getting tickets outside of the 1000 that MLS forced them to allocate for RSL (staff, players & families, sponsors, and fans) while ensuring that their fans are the only ones to access any other tickets to their league event.  I have been a fan of the team with the better record hosting MLS Cup, but clearly without major changes I can no longer support that either as clearly SKC have let a 2 point advantage over the season go to their heads.

I hope that the policy is pulled before the tickets go on sale, but as verified online by a couple fans, that policy was not there earlier in the week, or even earlier today. What a shame that what is likely a couple of well meaning but misguided folks in the SKC front office can turn MLS Cup into such a tragic event.

That’s How I See It

23 comments

  1. Blayne says:

    Just so you know, that is a generic form that is listed on all ticket sales where there is a restriction on some aspect of a purchase. In this case, we are being informed that there is an 8 ticket limit per customer and nothing more.

    So stop blaming SKC and MLS for this. General Public sales are exactly what they say GENERAL PUBLIC. You can purchase them with the rest of the world when they go on sale.

    • admin says:

      actually it is not, and in fact that announcement wasn’t on the event yesterday or even earlier today. You may want to check say the upcoming Chiefs game (http://www.ticketmaster.com/kansas-city-chiefs-vs-indianapolis-colts-kansas-city-missouri-12-22-2013/event/06004A92E5ADAB21?) to see that there is no such “generic form” there. It is in fact a restriction place on the sale of tickets by the selling party, in this case Sporting KC. You don’t have to like it but denying it doesn’t deal with the issue either

      • Blayne says:

        There are no ticket limits on that game you posted either.

        • admin says:

          That is the point, the restrictions are on the general public sell of MLS Cup tickets, which restrict the tickets to only approved zip codes in KS and MO.

          • Blayne says:

            Show me where you find the restriction to MO and KS then. I see it saying “geo-limited states”. That is not a restriction.

            What it does say at the bottom is “Delivery of tickets … enforcement of 8 ticket limit”. That is the only reason you are seeing that text.

            They are not limiting by location, just by ticket number. The reason being, they want to verify you didn’t purchase 16 tickets on 2 different credit cards with the same address.

  2. admin says:

    Dear Blayne,

    Please just go away. RSL fans were warned of the restriction by our FO, and fans verified with Ticketmaster, please go back to the SKC blogs and troll there.

    • Blayne says:

      I’m not trolling. But sure. Hope to see you at the game.

      • admin says:

        Please find me one more ticketmaster event that has the “warning/clause” on it, it is far from generic, and far from something they use all the time. It is a very specific message with a specific purpose.

        You don’t have to admit it but what SKC has done with tickets has been crappy to the public, that includes both RSL and SKC fans. They made an honest mistake and then lied, lied again, and panicked. Clearly the league and SKC will learn from this.

        • Blayne says:

          This affects me too. The billing address for my tickets in is Arkansas, but I’m not worried because that is not how these sales work. The only restriction on tickets is the 8 limit.

          I am not seeing any other reports of this issue anywhere else. A discussion forum linked me here.

          And yes, MLS needs to learn from this.

          • admin says:

            I think you should prepare yourself to be disappointed, they may let it slide but I ensure you if a SLC zip code showed up (like the last time) it would be cancelled

  3. Blayne says:

    Here is one I just found that has the location information filled out. It clearly states who is allowed and not allowed and instructs those outside the area to call. Hope this gives you more hope.

    http://www.ticketmaster.com/green-days-american-idiot-touring-durham-north-carolina-04-29-2014/event/0E004B25A3FDCEF2

  4. chuck says:

    hey,
    take it easy denz… they are just following recent government model of voter selection…

  5. Sean says:

    I wrote to ticketmaster:
    I have recently read a rumor stating that I could not order tickets for the MLS Championship Game on Saturday December 7th because I do not live in the Kansas City area. From my understanding my tickets would be canceled. So I guess because I am from Salt Lake, the team that Sporting KC is playing on Saturday for the Chamionship, my money is no good to you? Was this your decision, or perhaps the office from Sporting KC, or from even higher up in the Major League Soccer Organization? This is a farce and if I were in your shoes I would take issue with it. First you tried to state that RSL fans had “hacked” a code to buy tickets early, and through a few iterations it has now come down to this? This is poor business practice in ANY sense of the word and I will not be planning on doing business with your company again.

    I’m sure I will not get any response, and if I do it will be a canned response that is meaningless at best and doesn’t address the issue.

    Thank you for nothing, I have cancelled any kind of Facebook following as well as any email subscriptions

    And here is the response I got this morning:
    Hello Sean,

    Thank you for reaching out to us regarding tickets for:
    MLS Cup 2013 – Sporting Kansas City v. Real Salt Lake
    Sporting Park, Kansas City, KS
    Sat, Dec 7, 2013 03:00 PM

    We understand your frustration and wish that we could assist you, but unfortunately, the venue/promoters for the game have set up “geo-limiting” for this game. (geographical limiting)

    This means that only fans who have their billing address in the state where the game is taking place, may purchase tickets.

    Please note that Ticketmaster do not own the tickets that we sell. We sell under contract for the venue/promoters and as such, we have to follow their rules and instructions for the event.

    If a fan who has their billing address in the geo limited state, resells tickets, you can purchase tickets from them and attend the game.

    We hope that you are able to get tickets for the game.

    If you need anything else, we’re always here for you – just reply to this email or visit Ticketmaster.com.

    Sounds like it’s SKC that’s pushing this bullshit. It’s an embarassment to MLS. They want to be a world class organization, but this is minor league shit at best.

  6. Richard says:

    Come on Denz, as hard as it is you have to separate the frustration of this from supporting YOUR team. I battled with it all weekend long and finally bit the bullet and booked my tickets this morning. I have been there all season long and would feel like I cheated myself if I wasn’t there when they win it all.

    You know that I agree with you entirely on how poorly they’ve ran this, but the boys deserve our support.

    • admin says:

      For sure, My reality is that if I went with my credentials, I would very likely say something that while it might need to be said could/would reflect poorly on the folks at RSL who put themselves on the line to get folks like me credentials in the first place. It is very unlikely that I will be attending, but yes I still support our guys 100%.

  7. Skylar says:

    As a huge Sporting fan, I was pretty pissed about this. I live in the Des Moines, IA area, and they cancelled my order. I lost a lot of respect for SKC on this one. It’s embarrassing that they’re pulling this kind of crap. They should never host the MLS Cup again.

    • admin says:

      Skylar,

      I know you are not alone, I have heard form a number of KC fans since the start of this whole mess and many of them are upset by things have been handled. I hope you are able to find a ticket to the match and can go support your club. I was at the 2009 MLS Cup when RSL won and it is one of the sports highlights of my life, with the 91 World Series game 7 win by the Twins.

  8. Chris says:

    If it’s any consolation, the “general public” (read KC area) ticket sale was a joke. It was supposed to open at 10am. It actually opened at 9:57 & all tickets were gone by 9:57:30. Despite long-ranging inquiries, my friends and I cannot find a single person who was able to buy tickets today. Coincidentally (haha) There were more than 2,000 tickets newly available on scalper sites today.

    • admin says:

      Chris,

      That doesn’t surprise me, I had a number of SKC fans reach out to me to express their frustration over how all of the ticket distribution has been handled from the playoff packs to the additional tickets beyond STM’s buying the same number of seats as they have season tickets, I heard that the SG’s had issues, and then the deception from SKC over the leaked code. Just seems like a group in the FO who aren’t used to big matches, they will learn. I doubt any of it was intentional, but the way they responded sure makes it look that way to a lot of people on both sides.

  9. Larry says:

    I’m an SKC fan and season ticket holder, and up until the “geographic restriction” bit I’ve been willing to defend the SKC front office. The “thousand tickets issued to the other team” thing? If that’s what MLS requires, it certainly isn’t on the home team to be nice just for the heck of it. Maybe the number should be higher, but that’s for the whole league to decide, and SKC isn’t behaving any differently than any other team would, aside from the ones with much bigger stadiums (which is to say: SEA, NE, DC, and maybe LA or NY. And I guess Chivas, but it’s not like Chivas is gonna host a final in the foreseeable future).

    Then, the whole mess with the leaked code was ugly, but I was willing to chalk it up to incompetence rather than malice. As far as I’ve heard, they cancelled everything bought with that code, including tickets purchased by KC natives I know. The tickets got out before they should have, and the sales were cancelled. It’s unfortunate, and I would be pissed if I had made travel plans, but I can at least see where the front office is coming from on that one, especially since it happened before they had the chance to make extras available to Season Ticket holders, which they had said they wanted to do (and which they had done for every previous playoff game–I know because I was offered).

    But the geographical restriction on ticket purchases is stupid. I’m pretty sure the money in Utah is just as green as the money in KC, and if someone is hard-core enough to incur the travel expenses and sit out in the absurdly cold weather surrounded by fans of the other team, more power to them, and I hope they get some good BBQ on the trip as well.

    Honestly, they’ve made enough of a mess of this that I’m a tiny bit paranoid about my tickets, which I already received in the mail, being printed with the wrong bar code or something.

    And for the record, I do hope you’ll come out for the game. The powers that be have dicked up the ticket sales royally, but that isn’t on the players on the field or the fans who just want to have a good time. I think you’ll find that most KC fans are alright. And it really is a great stadium to showcase the sport–no matter who wins, it should be a heck of a show.

  10. Skylar says:

    Just had an interesting phone call with the ticket office of SKC regarding the geo-limiting for this game. According to the SKC front offices, the MLS are the ones who put the geo-limiting on this game, restricting ticket sales to the KC area. Definitely not buying that one, even as an SKC fan. There’s no way the MLS would want to limit who came to this game to the KC area.

    On behalf of SKC fans everywhere, I apologize for the stupidity and lack of common sense and honesty within the organization, even if most SKC fans wouldn’t echo that statement. That being said, as a die-hard SKC fan who was unable to get tickets simply because I live in Iowa, I hope RSL wrecks SKC. SKC doesn’t deserve the Cup with all the crap they’ve pulled with this game.

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