2016 is making its mark on Cleveland sports and the city is gearing up to root for the Tribe as they inch their way toward the World Series. 2016 World Series tickets have already gone on pre-sale and Progressive Field will be the place to be for game one on Tuesday, October 25th. The Indians have not won the World Series since 1948 and considering the latest Cleveland Cavaliers’ win, it is not an easy feat to battle the online ticket buyers to get your hands on one.

The initial tickets selling on Indians.com will be sold in a flash (tickets went on pre-sale for registered users October 19th, 2016 – tickets for the general public go on sale at 10 a.m. on Thursday, October 20th, 2016 ) , but it doesn’t mean you are out of luck. The secondary ticket market is a way for fans, brokers and season ticket holders to sell their previously bought tickets. Don’t worry – it is legal to resell tickets. In fact, as of 2016, “approximately 16 of the 50 states had a law which deemed scalping tickets illegal.”1 However since the rise of such sites as Ebay, Ticketmaster and StubHub – the secondary ticket market has become a place where fans can legally sell their previously purchased tickets in the case of profit and unable to attend circumstances. Criagslist, an online form of classifieds, is also a great way to personally meet with people who are locally selling or offering. However, this opens up many chances for sellers to sell fraudulent tickets and scam hopeful fans. There is a way to purchase your seat for the 2016 World Series – as long as you know where to look and how to protect yourself from losing your cash.

  • Do your research.

Prices: Check out primary source prices and get an idea of what is realistic. Primary source tickets will be considerably cheaper than secondary source because scalpers are looking to make a profit. However, it still helps to know every price to give yourself an idea of what you should and want to spend. To give you an idea: Standing room only tickets (these tickets are in designated areas where fans must stand – in Progressive Field are located above the Left Field Wall) from the primary source will be roughly $100 a ticket. Seated seats could be around $300. Once the tickets are sold out, secondary source tickets can sell from $700 and up.

Dates: Counterfeit tickets can have slight signs that you can avoid. It is not unusual for someone to try and sell a ticket from an already passed date. Unless you’re a time traveler – stick to a dates in the future.

Seating Chart – You can find a seating chart of Progressive Field on Indians.com (or here). Don’t pay bleacher prices for standing room tickets. Sellers on Craigslist might not provide a seating chart, but they will need to provide you with the correct numbers.

  • Know your options

Primary Source Tickets – These are the tickets that are the first ones on the market and sell immediately (usually within the first half hour of sale) from the team site. People who have purchased tickets previously, fans who are registered and season ticket holders will have access prior to the general public. Unless you have a light speed clicker finger, there’s a good chance you will not make it in time.

StubHub – Here is your safest chance of getting a World Series ticket if you choose to go second hand. StubHub is the official marketplace partner of MLB and owned by eBay. Their system works by having a middle man – once the seller sells their ticket, the bar code of the ticket becomes deactivated and unusable. A new ticket bar code is issued for the purchaser so they can use their ticket on game day. A great aspect of StubHub are the guarantees they provide for the buyer:

“You’ll get the tickets you ordered in time for the event and they’ll be valid for entry.If that doesn’t happen, we will locate comparable replacement tickets or send you a refund. You’ll get a refund if your event is cancelled and not rescheduled.” 2

However, if you are buying from someone who purchased the tickets from StubHub, the guarantee no longer protects you.

Vivid Seats – Similar to StubHub, Vivid Seats is another possibility in buying second hand. While receiving an A+ Rating as an Accredited Business with Chicago BBB, Vivid Seats is a marketplace you can trust. This site also has similar guarantees such as timely delivery and full refunds.

Craigslist – An excellent option to buy personally and locally. However, Craigslist does not provide a guarantee and once you get scammed, there is no going back. Follow these tips to make sure you don’t get scammed when looking for tickets:

  1. Think realistically. If someone has a bulk amount of tickets, this can be considered fishy. Indians.com only lets fans buy up to 8 tickets at one time – so there must be some other source or they have never had the tickets to begin with. Remember your pricing research – as tempting as bleacher tickets at $50 apiece sounds, take precaution. Unless it is crunch time for the seller, tickets will most likely not be cheap if they have time to sell.
  2. Feel like you are being rushed? Not a good sign. “These tickets are going fast – by tomorrow they will be gone.” It’s not worth the money you will be spending to make such a panicked decision. Besides, the scam does work both ways. A legitimate seller could be nervous about the buyer taking the tickets and not paying up. If they plan on a safe transaction, they will do what they can to answer your questions and verify what they can.
  3. If you are able – meet someone in person. This also verifies a local seller who is most likely just trying to support The Tribe as well. Scammers will most likely avoid meeting you in person at all costs. Always meet someone in a public place and never give out your personal address.
  4. Don’t wire money. It is simply too risky. Consider such online payment solutions as PayPal – which also provides their own guarantees such as fraud prevention and personal data privacy. Still a little iffy about who you are purchasing from? Consider paying half up front and half after you have received the tickets.
  5. The danger of a physical ticket. Simply because you have a ticket in your hand does not mean it is valid. Now that digital copies (even screenshots on your phone) are accepted and printers can make almost exact duplicates, there is no way you can tell if a physical ticket is valid until you walk up to the stadium on game day. You can, however, ask questions. Ask for a copy of the seller’s invoice proving the ticket has been paid for. Ask for a picture of the physical tickets. For people selling their season tickets, ask for an account number so that you can call and inquire about legitimacy. Again, if this is a legit seller, they will not hesitate to provide this information.
  6. Not all Craigslist sellers are con artists. If it was completely a scam, it wouldn’t even be suggested. Plans change and fans who jump the gun can’t always afford the travel. It offers ideal win-win situations if you know where to look.

Purchasing a ticket to the 2016 World Series is worth seeing the possible win for our beloved Indians. No TV screen can beat the smell of popcorn and rooting with thousands of other fans. Just remember to protect yourself and your bank account so you can cheer with the rest of us. GO TRIBE!

DATES TO REMEMBER:

Should The Indians advance into the 2016 World Series:

Games 1 and 2 of the World Series would take place in Cleveland on Oct. 25 and 26. Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) would also be at Progressive Field on Nov. 1 and 2.

Sources:

1. http://www.hastielegal.com/ohio-ticket-scalping

2. http://www.stubhub.com/the-stubhub-advantage/?section=fanProtect

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