Archive for December, 2008

STT Discusses 2010 Tickets in the Globe and Mail

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

My $27,000 dilemma
December 19, 2008
Globe and Mail

2010 Winter Game ticket lottery winners are faced with the dilemma to keep tickets or sell them for huge profits. “They’re all scared about the Visa bill,” Murray Pratt of ShowTimeTickets.com said. “What’s transpired economically over the past few months, I think a lot of people are just not willing to carry that on their credit cards. We’re hearing from some people in a little bit of a stress.”

HAYLEY MICK

From Friday’s Globe and Mail

December 19, 2008 at 5:50 AM EDT

The e-mail popped up like an early Christmas present in Jennifer Orr’s inbox.

A month ago, she had applied for $20,000 worth of 2010 Winter Olympic Games tickets through the official lottery system, praying above all else to get just one ticket to the opening ceremony.

Last Tuesday came the official notice saying that Ms. Orr, who loves the parade of athletes more than any other Olympic moment, had received enough tickets for her family of four.

But her emotions soon yo-yoed between delight and desire. Since then, the resale value of those tickets – worth $1,118 each at face value – has skyrocketed, and now Ms. Orr, a mother of two and a clerk typist at a Calgary elementary school, stands to make up to $27,000 if she sells the lot on the Internet.

“It is tempting,” she said.

Ms. Orr is among the chosen ones: people who entered a lottery with tens of thousands of hopefuls and emerged last week, when the selections were announced through e-mail and Visa statements, with a fistful of tickets.

Now, like Charlie in the children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, ticket holders for the most coveted events face a dilemma: hold on to the experience of a lifetime or be wooed by those who, like real-life Veruca Salts, are determined to get their hands on a ticket – even if they have to barter, beg or pay through the nose. And in the midst of a recession, that’s an increasingly attractive option.

Dozens of appeals from ticket seekers have appeared on websites such as Craigslist and ShowTimeTickets.com, where tickets to the men’s hockey gold-medal match are selling for up to $5,900, more than seven times face value.

On Craigslist, other spoils are also on the table: One person has offered to trade a week-long time share in Kelowna, B.C., for tickets to the men’s hockey gold-medal match.

Vancouver contractor Sean Stuart is offering to trade his services – build a bathroom, say, for plum hockey tickets. After all, Mr. Stuart said, in Vancouver the only thing rarer than gold medal hockey tickets is a contractor. “I know people who’ve waited a year,” he said.

Most of the ticket sellers are people trying to offload some debt after having an unusual dose of good fortune, said Murray Pratt, vice-president of operations and business development for ShowTimeTickets.com, a Vancouver-based ticket resale company that has hundreds of Olympic tickets up for grabs.

Like Ms. Orr, they applied for more tickets than they could afford, assuming that their odds of getting everything they asked for were slim. But some got a little too lucky – and wound up with a giant Visa bill just in time for Christmas during tough economic times.

“They’re all scared about the Visa bill,” Mr. Pratt said. “What’s transpired economically over the past few months, I think a lot of people are just not willing to carry that on their credit cards. We’re hearing from some people in a little bit of a stress.”

Lance Montgomery is selling two tickets to the men’s hockey bronze-medal match because he’s decided he doesn’t “want to be here during the craziness” of the Olympics. Already he’s had offers of Canucks tickets and up to $1,800 cash.

Right now, nosebleed seats to the gold-medal hockey game with a face value of $350 are posted on ShowTimeTickets.com for $3,850. Prime tickets to the opening ceremony, worth $1,118 at face value, are posted for $6,725.

Several tickets have been sold at those prices, Mr. Pratt said. But he also warned that the ticket values are guaranteed to change as the games approach – and especially once they begin. For example: What happens to the ticket price if Canada’s men’s hockey team doesn’t make the finals?

Mr. Pratt says buyers and sellers who go through his website are protected by a contract, but Vancouver Organizing Committee ticketing officials have warned that buyers of resold tickets face a terrible risk because they won’t know until they arrive at an Olympic event whether their tickets have been invalidated.

It’s not illegal to resell tickets in British Columbia, but VANOC has legal language on its tickets that says they cannot be sold for more than face value. To discourage scalping, the committee has vowed to track down tickets sold for profit and invalidate them.

Of course, not everyone is willing to sell or trade.

“My kids would never forgive me,” said Ian Haysom, news director of Global News in British Columbia, who got tickets to the opening ceremony, men’s hockey gold-medal match and preliminary rounds, as well as bobsleigh, in the lottery.

That’s an incredible dose of good luck, considering more than 140,000 tickets were requested for the men’s hockey gold-medal game, which will take place at the 21,000-seat General Motors Place. More than 84,000 tickets were requested for the opening ceremony, which will take place at the 55,000-seat B.C. Place Stadium. (Olympic organizers say that at least 30 per cent of the seating for premier events, such as the opening ceremony, were available to the public, and the rest will go to the so-called Olympic family: sponsors, Olympic committees and other partners of the Games.)

In the end, Ms. Orr said, she couldn’t stomach the thought of denying her children, ages 9 and 7, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Her tickets are going under the Christmas tree.

2010 Winter Games Tickets Released

Monday, December 15th, 2008

With the release of the 2010 Winter Games tickets this past week, ticket reselling has been a hot issue! Mario Livich, Founder & CEO of ShowTimeTickets.com and Murray Pratt, VP of Business Development & Operations have been busy answering everyone’s questions. Check out the articles below from this week – or visit our News Room to see a full-list of stories we have been featured in!

VANOC to invalidate tickets sold by unauthorized vendors
December 12, 2008
Vancouver Sun

VANOC says they will use “secret shoppers” to ferret out unauthorized ticket resellers and invalidate their tickets; however, Mario Livich of ShowTimeTickets.com says, “We’re connecting buyers and sellers in a legitimate transaction. It’s not illegal to resell tickets in British Columbia.”
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Missed out? Choose your scalper online
December 12, 2008
The Province

Sold-out Olympic tickets are already selling through ticket brokers online. Mario Livich of ShowTimeTickets.com says, “We will sell thousands and thousands of tickets. We sold our first Olympic ticket today.” Livich is not concerned about VANOC officials trying to shut down the reselling of tickets while Caley Denton of VANOC says he fully expected this to happen.
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2010 tix for sale on web
December 12, 2008
Metro Vancouver

Hundreds of Olympic tickets are available online as lottery winners are selling tickets only hours after VANOC notified them which tickets they have received. Murray Pratt of ShowTimeTickets.com says, “Some people aren’t comfortable making the decision (to buy) right now.”

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