Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Me On My Soapbox

I don't usually like to use my blog as a soapbox, especially for the little things in life. Having said that, I need to say something that has been on my mind a lot -- and has actually become a problem around here (and maybe the rest of the country, I don't know!) lately. Ticket scalping. Even the phrase gets my dander up. (I'm trying to be nice about this -- not easy!)
I never understood the call to watch sports...that is, until my kids started playing. My little man, 6 year old Curtis, started playing hockey this year. He wanted to try and so we signed him up. Somewhere mid-season, he fell in love with the game. He lived it and breathed it -- playing, practicing, and watching the NHL on TV.
I can't even count how many times I've said: "Hey you -- no raising the puck in the kitchen!"

Relatives of ours live in Edmonton, so Curtis started watching Oilers' games with his dad and grandpa in the evenings. (This is despite the fact that Grandpa loves Toronto -- it's sweet to watch this little rivalry in progress!)
Well -- now the Edmonton Oilers are THE team to watch. He has Oilers sponge pucks to play with. Oilers pyjamas. An Oilers jersey and track pants. (A great deal from Zellers at $20!) A Sam Gagner hockey card that his sister found in a cereal box. And all of these are his prize possessions. Every time we go to the mall, he has to go to the sports collectible store to see what's new in Oilers gear. He dreams of having his room painted in Navy and Gold and a big Oilers flag hanging on the wall.
So when I heard that the Edmonton Oilers and the New York Islanders were coming to play an exhibition game in Saskatoon in September, my heart just leaped! The game is scheduled for a week after Curtis' 7th birthday. What an absolutely perfect birthday gift -- sending him to the game with his dad. I can just imagine the look on his face when the puck is dropped!

Guess what? The game sold out immediately. And I wasn't able to get tickets...not even nosebleed ones.

Here's the part that just ticks me off. The most expensive tickets were $77.50 from Ticketmaster. I've been watching Ebay, the newspaper AND Kijiji. Tickets are NOW selling for a minimum of $150 EACH! And that is for nosebleed ones! I just contacted a guy who was selling two lower level seats for $200 -- at that price I would have gone for it, even though the seats were a fair bit out of the way. Today he called back and he wants $300 instead. Jeez!

This is happening for almost every concert here I've seen advertised in the last little while. The Oilers-New York game. The New York-Calgary game. Nickelback. The latest one is AC/DC -- for this one, tickets have been advertised at $5000! Seriously? That means that real fans have NO chance just because some guy with a fast computer selfishly buys them all, inflates the price at least 100% and sells them off to make a fast buck. Either that, or Ticketmaster is cheating by holding back tickets to sell at an inflated price. (Have you seen how many "ticket resale" websites there are? This one, TicketsNow, is run by Ticketmaster themselves!) Absolute absurdity!

One more thing...I am not going to support outrageous ticket scalping. I'd rather drive my little man 6 hours to Edmonton and fork out for the hotel, food, and $100 regular price ticket. He WILL see an Oilers game, but not by handing over my money to someone who has bought tickets only for the purpose of selling them at a ridiculous price to someone who really, really, really wants them, like my son:

And related to this subject, HUGE cheers to a friend of a friend from Saskatoon, Saucy. Her blog is HERE. She found herself with 2 extra tickets to a Jonas Brothers concert. Is she selling them at an inflated price? Nope! Is she selling them at cost? Nope! She's giving them away! Yes! To a complete stranger! Seriously! This is the kind of person there should be more of in this world -- generous and caring. 'Nuff said.
If you've gotten this far, thanks for listening to me vent. It's amazing what a little blog-vent-therapy can do. :)


Cheryl said...

I am with you girl! I can't tell you how many times I have tried to get tickets for a popular event and not been able!! I have a few people that I could talk to about that game and see if I could find you some regular priced ones, would you like me to try?

Leica said...

I couldn't agree more Amanda! We tried to get tickets too for the oiler game, and forget, it is cheaper just to go to Edmonton! more fun too. and my friend saucy is a rare gem!