Fraudulent purchases blamed in Chiefs season ticket holder presale fiasco
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The possible AFC Championship game in Atlanta turned into controversy on Wednesday.
That’s because of a Ticketmaster mess that left season ticket holders sidelined when they were supposed to have access to a priority presale.
Late Wednesday, the Chiefs sent an explanation. Someone, somewhere, passed out a presale code they weren’t supposed to share. They didn’t say who or how, but the outcome affected season ticket holders for both teams potentially playing the game. The tickets were returned to the pool by mid-afternoon.
Jesse Leimkuehler got his presale code from the Chiefs by email with a set time to buy on Wednesday: 1 p.m.
“The different tiers of tickets basically got to pick as the day went along,” he explained.
But, when the time came, he got an unwelcome response.
“When I tried to hit six tickets, which was the max you could get, it said nothing available,” Leimkuehler described. “I thought, ‘Okay. Well, I just need to get smaller amounts.’ And, I went all the way down to one ticket and there were still no tickets there. It’s like they were all gone.”
He wasn’t the only one. Bills fans complained about it on Twitter because the game, if played, would be Chiefs vs. Bills.
A viewer with a 10 a.m. slot wrote to KCTV5 that he had to “wait in line behind ‘2000+’ buyers” then, 20 minutes later, found “no seats comparable to my seats at Arrowhead for under $696 each.” They were all resale tickets, he said.
Chiefs season ticket holders get assigned their own ticket agents, so Jesse contacted his. He got a reply text with an email address to pass his concerns to upper management.
“But, he didn’t have any real answers,” Leimkuehler recounted. “And, I felt kind of bad for him because, at some level, I knew he was only the messenger.”
He also knew the ticket agents were likely getting flooded with questions, because tailgating buddies had been texting him all morning about having similar problems.
An hour and a half later, his agent sent another text, saying, “Everything should be back up now if you would like to review other options.”
“And so, then I went out to the site, logged in using the same code to go out and check, and there were tickets everywhere,” Leimkuehler said.
He got his six tickets for only about $40 more a piece than his usual Arrowhead game price.
A Chiefs spokesperson sent this statement Wednesday night explaining the root of the problem:
“Chiefs Season Ticket Members were provided a unique presale code that was exclusive to their Season Ticket Member Account. Early on in the presale, Ticketmaster noticed that a presale passcode that was not eligible for use had been distributed without consent. The tickets purchased under that code were refunded and released back out to the Season Ticket Member presale. Those tickets still remain available for Season Ticket Members to purchase at Chiefs.com using their exclusive passcode that was emailed to them.”
Leimkuehler has friends in Atlanta and already has all his travel arrangements in play, even though it will only happen if both the Chiefs and Bills win their upcoming games. He’s amped to go wherever the Chiefs play and doesn’t blame them for any of this.
“My wife got involved with the whole Taylor Swift fiasco when that went down,” Leimkuehler said. “So, I’m not a huge fan of Ticketmaster and I think I’m even less a fan of Ticketmaster now.”
When we checked for tickets at 7 p.m., there were still plenty of presale tickets for season ticket holders in the $200 to $700 range.
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