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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa police warn of phony CFP ticket scams; lowest online ticket price drops below $1,800

Raymond James Stadium as seen from the Goodyear dirigible Wingfoot One on Sunday.


Raymond James Stadium as seen from the Goodyear dirigible Wingfoot One on Sunday.



Don't mess with Alabama fans.

It's a lesson a ticket scalper from Orlando learned after Tampa police arrested him before Monday night's national championship between Alabama and Clemson at Raymond James Stadium.

Working through Craigslist, the scalper sold two fake tickets for $1,000 each to a couple of Alabama fans on Sunday night.

“They look like the real thing,” police spokesman Stephen Hegarty said. Suspecting they had been scammed, the buyers contacted the scalper and asked to buy more tickets. When they met him again, they called police and restrained him until officers arrived.

Police, who are expected to release more information about the incident later, were seeking a search warrant for more evidence. In a text message sent Monday afternoon, they warned fans, “beware of individuals on the street selling tickets to tonight’s game. TPD has seen a handful of cases of ticket scams.”

With one hour to kickoff, tickets from several online resellers generally were selling for $2,000 or more (often, a lot more), but the prices for the cheapest seats had fallen as game time approached. The minimum on StubHub was $1,795.

To get an idea of how the secondary market in ticket sales has fluctuated, consider this: Tickets in the $2,000 and up range were selling for about the same as the average price of a ticket sold one week ago today, according to TicketIQ, which tracks sales trends and data. That average crept up to nearly $3,400 last Wednesday, then dropped below $2,700 on Saturday, before climbing back over $3,300 today.

[Last modified: Monday, January 9, 2017 7:19pm]


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