It turns out, even the President isn’t immune from a bad ticket customer experience.
After a rally in Huntington, West Virginia on Friday, complaints have arisen from people who were turned away at the event’s doors, despite holding tickets. The event, held at Big Sandy Superstore Arena, had reached its capacity, at which point hundreds of people still in line were told they would not get in.
“We didn’t even make it up to that point,” Heather Straight told the Herald Dispatch about her experience, which left her out in the cold for the over-capacity rally. “We could hear people complaining that they didn’t even check tickets.”
With events that offer free admission, promoters will often give out far more tickets than the venue has space for, in hopes of avoiding poor turnout. That clearly wasn’t the case in West Virginia, which Trump won with just under 70% of the vote, well more than double the total of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
After angry comments flooded the venue’s Facebook page, the venue issued a statement indicating that it did not control or distribute tickets, and that more free tickets than were available were issued, as is standard practice. It also claimed the tickets came with a disclaimer that tickets did not guarantee entry, which is inaccurate.
Per the Herald Dispatch:
While the arena did say on Facebook that “attendees are strongly encouraged to arrive as early as possible to avoid traffic congestion and allow time for security screenings,” there was no mention of arriving early in order to ensure access to the venue.
The website www.donaldjtrump.com, through which many of Thursday’s attendees ordered their free tickets, does mention that “all tickets are subject to first-come, first-serve basis.” It does not directly say that tickets do not guarantee entry or that there were more tickets available than seats.
The Trump administration did not respond to requests for comment from the Herald Dispatch.