Can you spot the fake? UT Police issue warning about counterfeit Tennessee tickets

Counterfeit Tickets (left) and real tickets (right)
Counterfeit Tickets (left) and real tickets (right)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Saturday’s game against Alabama is sold out, but there are still plenty of secondary websites and individuals selling tickets for the University of Tennessee game at Neyland Stadium. Tickets are going for hundreds of dollars on websites like StubHub, Ebay and Craigslist, however the University of Tennessee is warning fans that they run the risk of purchasing counterfeit tickets.

“We received reports from the Florida home game two weeks ago of fans who purchased tickets from vendors along Cumberland Avenue and then could not get into the stadium because the tickets were bad,” said Troy Lane, associate vice chancellor of public safety and chief of the UT Police Department. “This week I heard from my counterpart at Texas A&M that they also had dozens of reports of counterfeit tickets being sold before the game.”

Lane recommends fans only purchase tickets from trusted sources such as the UT ticket office, opponent’s ticket office or family and friends. The University of Tennessee has also partnered with Vivid Seats to resell tickets to sports events, so tickets are available online there as well.

Previous story: How much are tickets to Tennessee vs. Alabama football game?

“It’s an unfortunate problem that comes with having a good team,” said Lane. “You need to be very cautious.”

Even the most-discerning eye can’t always tell when a ticket is counterfeit, according to UT Associate Athletics Director Joe Arnone, who manages the UT Athletics ticket office. “Some counterfeiters are so good that they can produce tickets that look almost exactly like the real thing,” he said, “except that it won’t get you in the stadium on Saturday.”

Arnone said even a genuine ticket may not be enough to gain entrance to the stadium. “If someone loses their ticket and has a replacement reprinted, the original one is invalidated in our computer system, even though it looks for all the world like a real ticket.”

UT officials share the following tips for reducing your chance of buying a counterfeit ticket:

  • Don’t buy from a scalper. Try to buy from an event-goer instead
  • Ask to take pictures of the seller and his or her driver’s license. If they refuse, the tickets may not be legitimate
  • Ask the seller to walk with you to the venue entrance before buying. If they hesitate, don’t purchase the tickets
  • Look at the tickets before handing over your money
  • Make sure all necessary bar codes are on the tickets and that the tickets don’t all repeat the same serial number
  • Don’t allow a seller to pressure you into purchasing tickets

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