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Rays playoff tickets still available on several online sites

Still looking for Rays playoff tickets? It's not too late.

Tickets through the Rays organization sold out for the first two home games of the American League Division Series. But thousands remain on online sites like StubHub, Craigslist and eBay.

StubHub alone still had roughly 10,000 tickets available Monday afternoon for the Rays first three home playoff games, said Joellen Ferrer, a spokeswoman for the site. Don't look for them to last long, though.

"Demand has been very high for Rays tickets and is far greater than what we saw in 2008," Ferrer said.

That's sending some prices for premium seats on StubHub into the thousands of dollars, Ferrer said. But there still are tickets for the average Joe, starting in the mid $20s.

StubHub is an online marketplace, rather than an actual ticket outlet. StubHub does not own or price tickets but offers "a safe online platform that connects buyers and sellers." Sellers price tickets at whatever fee they choose, and StubHub backs the purchase with a guarantee.

Those same protections do not exist on such classified sites as Craigslist. But that site still offered a steady stream of tickets on Monday, generally starting about $30 and going as high as $2,300.

Some offers suggested the owner simply wanted to dispose of the tickets for just $1. But buyers should carefully consider ticket purchases from people they don't know, whether online, at a bar or on the street.

On eBay, bids started as low as 99 cents for a ticket and topped out at more than $7,000 for four tickets.

While it is legal in Florida to scalp tickets, "if you're buying through Ticketmaster or somebody you know, obviously the odds are a lot better that the ticket is not counterfeit," said Sgt. Kevin Smith of the St. Petersburg Police Department's economic crimes unit.

There's no safety net to guard the loss of your money to fake tickets, other than ensuring the person you bought the ticket from is legitimate. Only then can you ensure a refund for a bogus ticket.

"They just got to be careful where they're purchasing them from," Smith said.

The City Council is set to vote on legislation Thursday that will create a "clean zone" for ticket, merchandise and food sales around the stadium. But that would not go into effect until the American League East Championship and for the World Series.

Anyone selling within the clean zone would have to have a temporary permit and any required distribution licenses, and they would have to conduct business on private property.

Until the council approves the clean zone, sales still must be conducted on private property, but the sellers need only a written letter of permission from the property owner.

It's too early to know whether there are any counterfeit ticket scams circulating, Smith said. No one will really know if any tickets are counterfeit until fans arrive at the gate to have their tickets scanned.

"It's definitely buyer, beware," Smith said.

Rays playoff tickets still available on several online sites 10/04/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 7:35am]
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