MISSOULA — Tickets for the upcoming Zac Brown Band concert at the Adams Center in Missoula don’t officially go on sale until Friday.
Yet 16 were listed for sale for as much as $300 each Tuesday on the online ticket resale site stubhub.com. More were available at ticketnetwork.com, where prices were listed from $123 to $141 each.
Tickets sold through GrizTix outlets will range from $65 to $75.
Adams Center officials are warning fans that buying tickets from secondary online sites can be a risky move, as authenticity is hard to verify and prices are often sky high.
“If it’s purchased off a secondary ticket site, we can’t guarantee the ticket will be valid,” said Brad Murphy, executive director of the Adams Center.
As online ticket sales become the norm, education about ticket buying is becoming more important, Murphy said.
Problems with resale tickets most often arise when high-profile acts like Zac Brown come to town.
Murphy and Adams Center client technology support manager Kelsi Plante expect a huge rush when sales open Friday. The Southern rock/country band is one of the hottest acts in country music.
“We worked really hard to get them here,” Murphy said.
The Adams Center is selling roughly 5,800 tickets for the Nov. 21 show.
“We’ll probably get 20,000 to 30,000 requests,” Murphy said.
When tickets are hard to come by, online prices at secondary sites skyrocket and counterfeit, stolen or canceled tickets pop up.
Online sellers, most of which are located outside of Missoula, anticipate the rush and start listing
It’s often local fans who are scammed.
Plante had to turn two teenage girls away from the Rascal Flatts concert at the Adams Center last year after they purchased invalid tickets online.
“It’s hard to deal with. You want to help them, but we just try to spread the word,” she said. “It’s not illegal to resell tickets, we just have to let people know this is happening and they need to be aware.”
The best way to avoid problems is to purchase tickets directly from griztix.com, the GrizTix box office on the University of Montana campus or at several ticket outlets around town.
“Don’t even search ‘griz tix’ or the band name, just go right to griztix.com,” Plante said.
To help combat ticket fraud, the Adams Center limits ticket sales for large shows to eight per person, per credit card.
A certain number of tickets are always made available at the box office and at the ticket outlets, Plante said.
If tickets are purchased online and a purchaser chooses to print the tickets at home, the tickets aren’t delivered via email until two days before the concert. That helps cut down on the number of out-of-town online buyers who grab tickets, raise the price, then resell and send them to local fans, Plante said.
If tickets being sold online include a seat number, Plante can verify its authenticity through the center’s system.
When she can, Plante also monitors online sites selling tickets to Adams Center shows to cut down on fraudulent ticket sales.
But, she said, “I can’t catch them all.”
The center’s scanning system ensures copied tickets aren’t valid.
“It’s one of the main issues in the public facility assembly industry. This isn’t just the Adams Center,” Murphy said. “We’re kind of a small fish, but we’re trying to take care of the local fans.”
Murphy emphasized that education is key when it comes to purchasing tickets online. Verified sites like griztix.com are the only outlets that can guarantee a ticket is valid.
“If you don’t know the source,” Murphy said, “don’t buy it.”