It can be tempting to buy tickets from a secondary source promising a great deal for a sold-out and popular show like Wicked, for example. But you’re taking a chance.
You could unwittingly become a victim of ticket fraud, only finding out at the last minute that your tickets are not real or they’re for a different performance on a different day. Just as upsetting is the very real scenario where you discover you significantly overpaid for your tickets — and you’re sitting further from the stage than expected.
For these reasons and many others, the best strategy is to buy tickets directly from the authorized ticket seller. Not only do you gain reassurance that your tickets are real and you paid the true face value, but the primary ticket seller will keep you up to date on any artist or schedule changes. If you buy through a secondary broker, you could be left out in the dark.
This spring the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is acting to protect the public from the perils of the secondary ticket market. The aim of a new campaign is to raise awareness and educate the public that anyone can fall victim to deception.
Many secondary ticket brokers sell tickets for up to two to three times the face value — sometimes more. For the Arsht Center alone, this means consumers pay approximately an additional $250,000-$500,000 per year for tickets on the secondary market.
Educating the public is a nationwide effort. In fact, eight other performing arts centers have or will be rolling out their own campaign to protect their patrons from deception.
These very savvy secondary market brokers operate with a lot of money, resources and technology. However, many performing arts centers are fighting back on behalf of the consumer, adopting the latest software block as many broker accounts as possible — and the Arsht Center has now blocked more than 400 ticket broker accounts over a two-year period.
State laws about resale of performance tickets vary. Adopted in 2015, Florida statute 817.36 addresses resale of tickets from venues such as the Arsht Center and states that “a person or entity that offers for resale or resells any ticket may charge only $1 above the admission price charged therefor by the original ticket seller.” Because many secondary brokers charge more, their actions clearly are illegal.
Going forward, the Arsht Center and performing arts centers nationwide will continue to do all we can to protect our patrons. But the public needs to do their part as well — buying directly from the authorized ticket seller — to ensure a great day or night out enjoying the performing arts with family and loved ones.
Andrew Goldberg is vice president of marketing with the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.
And here’s a video by the Arsht Center on the risks of buying from a secondary ticket seller. http://www.arshtcenter.org/Tickets/official-tickets/#