Broncos fans could be squeezed out of SB tickets

Posted at 7:41 PM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 21:41:30-05

The great ticket meltdown of 2015 left hundreds of fans, who thought they had tickets, out in the cold at last year's Super Bowl.

So could it happen again, this time to Broncos and Panthers fans?

Popular secondary ticket markets like StubHub and SeatGeek said they have put new policies in place that they believe will prevent speculative selling.

"I think that we've really done everything in our power to beef up the standards," said Will Flaherty, director of growth with SeatGeek.

"We're limiting to sellers we have a history with, 10 to 15 large sellers that are going to be listing on StubHub," said Cameron Papp, a spokesperson with StubHub.

Secondary sites are cracking down on a practice known as "short selling," which is basically like gambling on ticket prices to make the highest profit.

Brokers sell tickets they don't have a few weeks before the game with plans to buy them closer to the game at a lower price.

Last year, prices did not fall so there was no room to make a profit, leaving lots of fans without tickets in Arizona.

StubHub said it had to pay more than $5 million to make sure fans who bought tickets on its site had the tickets they were promised. "[That was] one of the few times that we actually ended up losing money on a high profile event like this," said Papp.

Other brokers ditched fans, and only offered refunds for what they originally purchased. "Many companies, ticket brokers went out of business after last year," said Flaherty.

To help prevent the problem from happening again, both StubHub and SeatGeek are only allowing tickets on their sites that include the actual seat locations.

In the past, sellers were only required to provide those specifics a week before the game.

StubHub is also requiring sellers to physically drop off the hard copy tickets by Tuesday in Santa Clara.

"Any seller is going to be scrutinized much harder this year, we don't want to have to be spending that money every year to fulfill orders," said Papp.

StubHub and SeatGeek both offer guarantees, so if something were to happen, at the very least customers will get their money back.

"Whether there's issues with sellers again -- we don't think there will be -- there's always a possibility but the fact of the matter is anyone who purchases a ticket we're going to fulfill [that] and you're going to get to the event," said Papp.


Sign up for Denver7 email alerts to stay informed about breaking news and daily headlines.

Or, keep up-to-date by following Denver7 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.