The Vikings are warning fans to be careful when purchasing tickets from outside sources after about 200 people ended up with counterfeit tickets to the Oct. 5 game against the Packers at the Metrodome.
"We just want to make sure our fans understand be careful when you're buying on the street or not through an authorized online site because you're kind of at risk," said Steve LaCroix, the Vikings' chief marketing officer. "It's buyer beware. There were a couple hundred fans that made transactions that weren't legitimate so in a lot of cases it was cash and it's gone. The police department is engaged trying to help out tracking it down."
In a press release put out by the Vikings today, the team says that several groups that work out of Atlanta, Detroit and New York will travel to various sporting events and concerts and attempt to sell stolen and counterfeit items. The NFL is looking into the situation to try to help break up these rings.
LaCroix said to be extremely careful if you're buying an E-ticket because those are easy to produce and make look legitimate. "That's kind of what they are targeting on the street," LaCroix said. "It's about the bar code and everything is electronics. When you try to enter the stadium we scan that bar code and it's either legit or not and if' it's not obviously we have an issue."
LaCroix encourages fans to closely examine the tickets they are buying and said in a few cases people bought tickets to section 400 in the Metrodome for the Green Bay game. There is no section 400 in the stadium
The Vikings point out that the only authorized outlets from which to buy their tickets are the team's ticket office, Ticketmaster and the NFL TicketExchange. "If you're not going to go through one of those then make sure there's a Better Business Bureau seal on that site and if you're [buying] on premise, face-to-face with cash you're taking a risk," LaCroix said.
The Vikings have had this issue at previous games but not to the level that happened with the Monday night game. Of course, the fact the Vikings were playing Green Bay in Brett Favre's first game against the Packers made it an extremely high-profile event and thus more attractive to those who produce counterfeit tickets.
As for sales of legitimate tickets to Vikings games, LaCroix said business has been good with the team's 5-0 start. Sunday's game against Baltimore is officially a sell out and there are only about 1,500 seats left to the Nov. 29 game against the Chicago Bears.
"The other games are more than that but there's some really good momentum right now," LaCroix said. "A lot of good weekly activity. We're trying to be creative on getting the word out that we have tickets available, doing some different packages just to see what kind of strikes hot with the fans and think we're in pretty good shape here with some momentum that we want to try to build on."
After Sunday, the Vikings will not play at the Metrodome again until Nov. 15 against the Detroit Lions.