True confessions, I’m a Buckeye’s fan. My daughter is in her senior year at OSU and I’ve caught the Buckeye bug. Having said that, it’s New Year’s Eve and I’m in Orlando visiting family and besides, couldn’t swing the ticket prices/hotel packages in NOLA to see the Alabama versus Ohio State. Therefore, what to do in Orlando on New Year’s afternoon to get psyched for the big game later that evening? Why not go to the Citrus Bowl and watch Minnesota Gophers compete against the Missouri Tigers. I don’t have a big rooting interest in either team, however, because I support the Big Ten brand, I’m rooting for the Gophers. Besides, the Minnesota coach, Jerry Kill has had some health issues over the last few years and I wish him well.
I could try to pick up 4 tickets to the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl although with a group of 4 who would prefer to sit together, I’ll give the online channel a whirl. I begin with a website with the ‘org’ extension, thinking this may include clubs, nonprofit groups or civic organizations.
This site of http://bowlorlando.org/Tickets-Active.php?eventID=1541710&venueID=339# quickly redirects me to https://secure.onlineclitytickets.com. Not crazy about the redirect at least this site appears to be secure, at least that’s what I surmise from the URL.
For good seats, tickets are $101.00, a Service Charges $30.30, and a one time Email Delivery of $6.95. Total would exceed $530.00 for 4 tickets (even though the tickets are $101.00). Talk about bait and switch.
Thinking it might be a mistake, I chose the $106.00 ticket on the same website. Greater Service Charge (31.80, I believe it’s percentage based and an Instant Download of $7.50). General principle here is that whatever price ticket you find, there will be additional fees of roughly 30% added so that price.
Moving on to the next website for tickets to the Citrus Bowl. I believe that the Orlando Citrus Bowl may have tickets available at a fair price. I selected: http://www.orlandocitrusbowl.com/events/detail/capita-one-bowl-2015 and it redirects me to http://ticketmaster.com. Tickets available although much more expensive than other sites. Time to try http://www.citrusbowl2015.com/. Even this website redirects me to bigstub.com (I wonder if this was founded after stubhub.com and they slightly changed their name).
I was initially intrigued by the ticket prices. There were several tickets available on the 25 yard line for $44 which piqued my interest. So I thought the total may be in the neighborhood of $190 or so. $44 times 4 equals $176 so to get an idea of the price, I added another $15 in service fees. No, service total was $10.12 per ticket with an email delivery of $6.95. A total of $223.43. I felt slightly mislead, no need to deal with this outfit again.
One more thing bigstub.com, when they published the map for the Citrus Bowl, could they have included a map to indicate which side represents Mizzou and which side represents the Gophers?
I finally try Stubhub.com. Listening to sports radio and sports’ podcasts, Stubhub.com advertises quite often so I decided to give them a try. I see tickets for $31.50 times 4 equals $126. I wonder what service fees or a one time email fee there may be. I then see on their website: Stubhub: No surprise fees, only good surprises. Great news, no additional fees. You get what you pay for. If you find a $100 ticket, you want to know you’ll pay around that amount, not 30 some percent more than $100. I’m into WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get).
Dealing with online ticket purchases reminds me of searching for inexpensive air travel tickets. You may find inexpensive airline tickets only to pay for additional or hidden fees which doesn’t always feel good — especially doing future business with that type of organization. It’s much easier to compare apples to apples if airlines or online ticket brokers tell me upfront what it will ultimately cost.
If someone asks me how I found these tickets what will I say? Will I say it was easy finding good seats at a good price? Will I say that it’s Ok to hunt for tickets on various websites, provided you have the time and can brace yourself for sticker shock with add on fees? Or will I say, go to Stubhub.com if you want a competitive price with a convenient and smooth ticket purchase experience, without any surprise fees.