Tickets to the general public went on sale at 10 AM this morning. And a large number of fans came up empty, despite being online with a credit card in a holster right on time.
So what happened?
Two things: 1) Tickets were limited. Only about 2,200 tickets were released to the general public. And between fans, scalpers and anyone else trying to get them, that’s not a lot. You know, supply and demand and right now, the demand is pretty darn high. 2) Online ticketing isn’t perfect. One person emailed in saying they scored a pair of tickets almost 30 minutes after they went on sale? Why? Because the horde of fans were on at 10 AM, “reserved” tickets but didn’t actually make it all the way through to purchase confirmation. So that ticket was opened back up. This happens all the time. So I’d say keep checking periodically. I scored sixth row tickets to a sold out concert once literally eight hours before the show.
Regardless, it’s a little disturbing to hear stories of a person being on at 10 AM sharp, looking for only ONE ticket only to come up without anything. Even with demand so high, 2,200 tickets isn’t nothing. There should be one seat somewhere 15 seconds after 10 AM. Right? Here’s the deal: Season ticket members got first dibs. Clever marketing by the Thunder because talk about incentive for folks to buy season tickets next year. You want Western Conference Finals tickets? Too bad, shoulda had season tickets.
Secondly, fans that bought tickets for Games 3 and 4 and were ALSO partial season ticket holders got priority as well. Tickets were reserved for those fans at they have until 3 PM to follow-up and buy tickets again. So there could be a large number of seats that are currently tied up right now. I really don’t understand the reasoning behind this tactic, but if you’re reading between the lines, there could be some more tickets available at 3 PM. Season ticket members deserve first dibs too. They’re the ones paying the big bucks to the team and they should get that luxury. Plus, if the Thunder did a wider release, MORE scalpers would have the opportunity to swoop in and steal your tickets. By giving the bulk to season ticket holders, the Thunder assures that THUNDER fans will be filling the seats for face value costs. I think that’s absolutely the way to go. And I applaud them for that move.
But I know what some are thinking. Freaking scalpers. And yes, freaking scalpers. They’re the scum of the earth in my estimation. Nothing is worse. Buying up tickets with no intention to use them just to inflate prices and screw out a fan that is DYING to go because they want a 200 percent profit. It’s ridiculous. If I had it my way, scalpers would be dragged behind one of those Bricktown bicycle buggies down Reno.
And it’s fishy to me as well that just 30 minutes after tickets went on sale to the public, a scalped set of $12 tickets pop up on StubHub. That doesn’t look right. I jokingly tweeted about a “conspiracy” going on with Ticketmaster and StubHub, but rest assured, there’s no foul play here. I spoke with Thunder VP of Communications Dan Mahoney and he was adamant that all this was, was a case of a fervent fan base buying tickets as fast as they could. And as a result, some willing purchasers came up empty. And I agree.
As much as I loathe scalpers, it’s simple supply and demand principles. The demand was high so what are you willing to pay for a Game 6 ticket? If you can meet that, you get to go. That doesn’t excuse the fact that some jerk gets to make far more money than he paid just because he was fortunate enough to get through Ticketmaster’s clunky system, but still, it’s his right. It sucks, but it’s life.
I asked Mahoney what the Thunder’s stance is on scalpers and he said the Thunder does their best to avoid ticket brokers ending up with mass quantities of tickets. And that was evidenced by them limiting to only four tickets available for purchase at a time. Plus, if you really think there was something fishy going on, don’t you think the Thunder would’ve put out more than 2,200 tickets that could’ve been scalped? Like I said earlier, by giving priority to season ticket holders, the Thunder really puts a pretty good kibosh on scalpers.
More than 250 fans lined up at the Ford Center box office, despite being told to purchase online. In a press release, the Thunder said there will be limited tickets available before Friday, including Lower Level tickets 24 hours before the game. Why does this happen? Well, because they are being held for potential NBA higher-ups, media and other very important people. So if they don’t show, you may get a ticket.
Also, there will be the Fill up the Ford promotion where 200 tickets are made available two hours before the game. 25 pairs will be put up for raffle with 75 being sold. So if you go that route, good luck with that.
Mahoney said officially, tickets sold out in 10 minutes. But he said online, realistically, that was more or like three or four minutes. Which is insane. People want tickets for what could be a series clincher. Again, in my eyes, this was nothing more than a case of people wanting tickets so they went after them. I don’t understand Ticketmaster’s process and how one person can get through and another can’t, but that’s not the Thunder’s fault. They want you to have tickets. They don’t want a scalper to be able to sell them to some Laker fan. The best PR in the world for the team is another wild blue-out with almost 19,000 rabid, bloodthirsty Thunder fans screaming at the tops of their lungs. So don’t blame the Thunder. Blame the entire ticketing process. Some fans are left out in the cold and that’s just the way it is. Doesn’t make it right, but it’s life and we’ve got to deal with it.
So the question is: How much do you really want to go to Game 6?