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Elton John World News: A Warning About Some Online Ticket Agencies

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Thursday 24 January 2013 @ 15:46 - GMT

Although tickets do not officially go on sale for Elton's upcoming concert at McKenzie Arena until 10 a.m. Friday, people can buy them online maybe for as little as $116 and as much as $656.

But they might not even get you in, warns the Times Free Press.

The tickets for the March 23 show are officially going to be priced at $37, $77 and $137, plus convenience fees, but on Tickethurry.com, there are several levels of pricing, depending on the seating.

McKenzie Arena Executive Director Obie Webster said not to buy from such Web sites at any price.

"They are scalpers, and a lot of this is assumption on my part, but when the tickets go on sale Friday, they will buy them at the same time and price as everyone else and then turn around and sell them for much more," he remarked.

A representative of Ticket hurry.com, who identified herself as 'Stevie,' claimed the agency is licensed and bonded and that all tickets are guaranteed.

"We are a secondary ticketing agency, and we get a supply of tickets from an agency that gets them from the venues," she said.

"No," countered Webster. "Not true. Not true."

He said all ticket buyers will be limited to buying no more than eight tickets at a time, so while these groups could have a plan or process in place for buying large numbers, there is no guarantee they will have tickets to sell, meaning the ticket you think you are buying today might not exist or be legitimate.

"We have had that happen in the past where someone bought a ticket from one of these agencies and it would not scan or work here," Webster said.

The best way to ensure that you get into the concert is to buy the ticket from the arena box office or from the official arena ticketing Web site, Tickettracks.com.

"That is the way to avoid the rip-off, and I'm using that in the literal sense," Webster commented.

Rick Johnson, owner of Mega Concert Attractions, has booked shows in this part of the country for years and now books them primarily in Asia. He said online ticket agencies such as Tickethurry.com are becoming more and more prevalent, though they primarily operate in bigger cities.

"You don't see it in Chattanooga that often," he said. "He said most venues [McKenzie included] post messages warning against buying from such sites.

"You saw it with the Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs," Johnson remembered. "They had messages on Facebook and Twitter warning people about buying from ticket places other than the official one."

He added that the fact that Tickethurry is offering tickets before they officially go on sale, "should raise a red flag."

Elton last performed at McKenzie in 2010 in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,300.

"It's an honour to get a return performance," declared Webster.

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