For some 200 fans trying to get into Elton John and Billy Joel‘s July 16 concert at Wrigley Field in Chicago, their dream tickets turned out to be a nightmare. Ticketholders were turned away at the stadium doors when it turned out that their otherwise legitimate-looking tickets were actually stolen goods.
As reported by Chicago’s CBS 2 news team, the 200 tickets were originally part of a transaction between the Chicago Cubs, based out of Wrigley Field, and the concert’s promoter Live Nation. The tickets were never offered for sale on the primary market.
Stolen tickets are often reported to brokers to prevent their resale on the secondary market. However, that report allegedly was never filed, and the concert’s primary seller Tickets.com told CBS that it didn’t know about the situation.
Without the heads up about the stolen ducats, brokers searching online for deals were unaware that the passes they purchased — likely from Craigslist or eBay, according to some reports — were void. Those brokers then unknowingly resold the voided tickets on various secondary ticketing sites, including StubHub.
While the Cubs, Live Nation and Tickets.com did not reply to requests for comment, StubHub’s head of corporate communications Sean Pate told TicketNews that the company only discovered the fraudulent activity when doors opened for last Thursday’s event.
“We had no idea there was any issue with the tickets…literally until the day of the show when customers called [to report the problem],” he explained.
Twelve orders placed on StubHub were caught up in the fraud, but those orders did not account for the entire block of affected tickets. For those fans who did make their purchases through StubHub, replacement tickets for the July 16 show were offered, though some customers requested refunds instead.
Pate noted, “By all accounts, we got everyone into that show as long as they wanted to attend.”
Pate explained that instances like this are rare and that StubHub’s sellers don’t receive payment until a purchase has been validated. “There are protections in place on sites like StubHub for this exact reason,” Pate said.
Even when problem orders are processed and void tickets end up in the hands of customers, Pate said, “You can always feel assured that you will get tickets to the event that you paid for.”