Dayton Live warns about scalping sites inflating prices as live theater returns

Scalpers are using the upcoming Hamilton premier to inflate ticket prices

Scalpers have begun hiking up ticket prices as live theater returns to the region — some offering tickets to popular shows before they are even for sale ― prompting Dayton Live to caution eager patrons to avoid scams.

Secondary ticketing outlets are capitalizing on the widespread popularity of Dayton Live shows like Hamilton and Mean Girls, raising prices by up to 100% of face value.

“The secondary ticketing market is already hawking wares they don’t even have in hand yet — and you can bet the prices will be inflated,” Dayton Live Vice President of Ticketing & Licensing Lisa Japs said in a news release.

The pandemic-induced absence of live entertainment in the Dayton region over the past year has made it easier for scalpers to trick consumers into buying illegitimate tickets, Japs told the Dayton Daily News.

“People have gotten out of the habit of how to buy tickets,” she said in an interview. “So people end up Googling live events and stuff like that. That’s how you end up on a second party scalper site.”

Credit: Dayton Live

Credit: Dayton Live

Scalpers will do all they can to imitate an official primary ticketing outlets, Japs said, often fooling consumers in the process.

“They scrape our pictures sometimes,” Japs said. “How it works is somebody buys from the scalper, the scalper comes to our website, buys a real ticket, and then they start forwarding our confirmation emails to people.”

Per Japs, scalping outlets will adopt names that resemble official ticketing sites, such as “theatredayton.com” or “schustertickets.com” in hopes of tricking buyers into purchasing tickets at their increased rates. The only way to purchase official Dayton Live tickets online at a fair price is through its website daytonlive.org.

Japs encouraged buyers to remain wary of where they’re buying their tickets, and to read everything they possibly can about a site before making a purchase. Sites will often include in the fine print that they have no official connection to Dayton Live, but it’s likely that the font will be too small to easily detect. According to Japs, a confirmation email sent directly from Dayton Live should come through after an official purchase is made.

Credit: Dayton Live

Credit: Dayton Live

Dayton consumers are not the only ones affected. The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts sent an email to patrons this week warning about similar ticketing issues with Hamilton and Wicked performances there.

“We are aware there are many sites selling overpriced and potentially fraudulent tickets already for these shows,” the email says. “The only official ticket sources for our shows are the Broadway In Columbus eCLUB, BroadwayInColumbus.com, CAPA.com, Ticketmaster.com, and the CAPA Ticket Office. We cannot guarantee any tickets purchased from other sources and buyers may be denied entry at the theatre or may not be updated if show schedules change and miss out on potential refund or exchange opportunities.”

Japs stated that the actions of secondary ticketing outlets affect the Dayton Live organization from an economic standpoint as well.

“It makes people think they can’t afford to come to the theatre,” Japs said. “I have had half a dozen calls (where people say), ‘I wish I could come see Hamilton, but I can’t afford $400 a ticket.’ That’s not how much they are ... It makes people question and not ask if they can come to shows.”

Official Dayton Live tickets for the upcoming series of Broadway shows can be purchased through the Dayton Live ticket office, either online at daytonlive.org or over the phone at 937-228-3630 during the hours of 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday of every week.

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