Friday, February 3, 2012


This has nothing to do with Real Estate Law, but the news stories of people buying fraudulent Superbowl tickets reminded me of this story. Its remotely related to law. My “friend” Peter (not his real name) and a bud happened to be in NYC the same weekend that the Celtics were playing the Knicks in the playoffs. On the internet, Tickets were going for 3 times face value. Peter does not usually take chances and although he had attended thousands of sporting events, he rarely buys tickets from scalpers. Peter made friends with Knicks fans and asked to see their tickets. Peter became familiar with the appearance and feel of genuine season tickets and genuine individual Ticketmaster tickets for the event. Peter made various inquiries with the nice scalpers in the general vicinity of Madison Square Garden and declined to purchase various counterfeit tickets. He was then offered 2 genuine season ticket style tickets for the game at a reasonable price. He examined the tickets and determined they were genuine, but in his excitement he did not have the scalper accompany him inside the lobby of MSG and take them to the “scanner” window to verify that the tickets were genuine. It turns out the tickets were genuine, but the ticket owner had previously sold them back to Ticketmaster via the TicketExchange program for resale (at a nice profit), and TicketMaster was able to electronically make the bar code on the tickets invalid.  Peter had a great time in NYC anyway and watched the game in a nearby establishment dressed in Celtic green, but he has learned a valuable lesson: If genuine tickets can be electronically rendered useless, do not buy tickets from scalpers unless (a) they are one of the guys who have been standing on the corner of Canal St and Causeway for the past 8 years or (b) the seller is willing to accompany you to a verification station.



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