The resale site is part of VANOC’s best effort to avoid alleged fraudulent reselling associated with messy ticketing problems at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, as well as trying to avoid the possibility of empty seats at game venues. Also in place: stipulations forbidding executives of the Winter Games from reselling their tickets, with a promise that all such resold tickets will end up being invalidated.
In addition, VANOC has made it clear that all tickets for the 2010 Games bought through unauthorized resellers also risk invalidation. Earlier this year, the Committee’s concerns about unauthorized resales even led them to initiate lawsuits against two Canadian ticket brokers, Coast 2 Coast Tickets and Roadtrips, for alleged sales of unauthorized tickets.
Enter VANOC’s very own authorized ticket resale operation. Details of the new site’s exact launch date are unclear at this time, as are rules on price mark up and percentage taken on sales, but Caley Denton, VP of ticketing for VANOC, was quoted recently by the CBC as stating that the site will launch some time this month, soon after the final wave of original event ticket sales for the 2010 Games is complete.
Denton also noted that no final decision has been made on pricing guidelines for resellers, adding that the Committee was working with selling partner Tickets.com to finalize pricing models. However, as recently as October, VANOC executive VP Dave Cobb conceded to the Ottawa Citizen that selling above face value is a real possibility in light of the stiff competition expected from sites such as Ebay or Showtime, where fans can go to resell their tickets.
Aside from working to fill all seats at venues, VANOC is also concerned that fans are holding authentic tickets and won’t be turned away at the venues because of fakes. Back in June, speaking on condition of anonymity, a VANOC staffer told TicketNews that new barcoding technology allows for easy on-site invalidation of tickets deemed unauthentic or even stolen, and VANOC hopes that this new technology will help in mitigating the fraud that seems to have plagued Beijing 2008 and other past ticketed events.