Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Some Elton John fans' seats missing seats in renovated Sun Dome

TAMPA — A seating mishap at the newly renovated University of South Florida Sun Dome had some Elton John fans singing the blues Friday night, and venue organizers considering refunds.

About 30 fans who showed up at Section 204 found out their seats were scratched as a result of multimillion dollar renovations this winter.

As organizers scrambled to accommodate the line of frustrated fans by finding alternative seats, the concert played on.

Some ended up benefitting with better seats, but others said they weren't pleased with their new assignments and wanted their money back. About two rows were affected.

"This is fraud," said Christine Murphy, a 48-year-old medical coding supervisor from Tarpon Springs. "They sold me a product that doesn't exist. That's fraud."

Murphy, who had seen Elton John perform once before, said her $315.35 seats were in Row L.

"The section started at Row P," she said. "There was no A through O."

She said she was referred to customer service and offered floor seats, but she returned when she discovered her new row was so far from the stage she couldn't even see the top of Elton John's head.

"I paid a lot of money to see Elton John. I could have put on a CD to hear him," she said.

Trent Merritt, general manager at the Sun Dome, said Sunday that officials were considering a refund for some fans.

"Any time you have 10,000 people in a building for a show like that, there's going to be some customer service issues," he said.

The Sun Dome's $35 million renovation, which ended in April, eliminated two rows. The change didn't pose a problem at two previous events, but the crowds weren't as large as the one at the Elton John concert.

A growing line at the customer service window made the experience all the more frustrating.

"A couple of people were at the counter negotiating their tickets for 20 minutes," said Paula Berry, 32, a high school teacher from Tampa.

When Berry and her husband finally got to the window, the harried customer service reps already knew about the problem in Section 204 and quickly gave them new seats in Section 213. But they had to sit one seat apart from each other.

"My husband's favorite song is Bennie and the Jets, and we had to listen to it standing in line," Berry said. "That was the heartbreaking part about it."

She said she hopes the Sun Dome works out its kinks before her graduation from USF with a master's degree in education this December.

"When you invest that kind of money and time you want to know that you're going to have a positive experience," she said. "As of right now, I wouldn't attend another show at the Sun Dome."

Times staff writer Rich Shopes contributed to this report.

Some Elton John fans' seats missing seats in renovated Sun Dome 09/16/12 [Last modified: Sunday, September 16, 2012 10:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Mayor: Men stabbed after anti-Muslin rant died as 'heroes' (w/video)

    Nation

    PORTLAND, Ore. — Police said Saturday they'll examine what appears to be the extremist ideology of an Oregon man accused of fatally stabbing two men who tried to intervene when the suspect yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim on a Portland light-rail train.

    A sign of thanks rests against a traffic light pole at a memorial outside the transit center on Saturday in Portland, Ore. [Associated Press]
  2. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  3. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Wing Jonathan Drouin could be the only piece that Tampa Bay has to acquire a badly needed top-tier defenseman.
  4. Ryan Hunter-Reay running strong as he seeks a second Indianapolis 500 title

    Auto racing

    Ryan Hunter-Reay isn't a big jewelry fan.

    Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won Indy in 2014, is a contender for a second title in today’s 101st running. He qualified 10th, had the third-fastest practice lap and his team is looking strong.
  5. As Trump's overseas trip ends, crisis grows at home (w/video)

    Politics

    President Donald Trump headed home Saturday to confront a growing political and legal threat, as his top aides tried to contain the fallout from reports that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is a focus of investigations into possible collusion between Russia and the president's campaign and transition teams.

    President Donald Trump waves as he exits Marine One on Saturday at Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily, Italy. After a nine-day trip overseas, the president is returning to Washington.