Don't trust that website selling Elton John tickets, officials say

photo Elton John greets the audience during a concert at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China, in this file photo.

Although tickets do not officially go on sale for Elton John's upcoming concert at McKenzie Arena until 10 a.m. Friday, you can buy them online - maybe - for as little as $116 and as much as $656.

But they might not even get you in.

The tickets for the March 23 show are officially going to be priced at $37, $77 and $137, plus convenience fees, but on, there are several levels of pricing, depending on the seating.

McKenzie Arena Executive Director Obie Webster said don't buy them from such websites at any price.

"They are scalpers, and a lot of this is assumption on my part, but when the tickets go on sale Friday, they will buy them at the same time and price as everyone else and then turn around and sell them for much more," he said.

A representative of ticket who identified herself as Stevie said the agency is licensed and bonded and that all tickets are guaranteed.

"We are a secondary ticketing agency, and we get a supply of tickets from an agency that gets them from the venues," she said.

"No," said Webster. "Not true. Not true."

Webster said all ticket buyers will be limited to buying no more than eight tickets at a time, so while these groups could have a plan or process in place for buying large numbers, there is no guarantee they will have tickets to sell, meaning the ticket you think you are buying today might not exist or be legitimate.

"We have had that happen in the past where someone bought a ticket from one of these agencies and it would not scan or work here," Webster said.

The best way to ensure that you get into the show is to buy the ticket from the arena box office or from the official arena ticketing website,

"That is the way to avoid the rip-off, and I'm using that in the literal sense," Webster said.

Rick Johnson, owner of Mega Concert Attractions, has booked shows in this part of the country for years and now books them primarily in Asia. He said online ticket agencies such as are becoming more and more prevalent, though they primarily operate in bigger cities.

"You don't see it in Chattanooga that often," he said. "He said most venues [McKenzie included] post messages warning against buying from such sites.

"You saw it with the [Atlanta] Falcons in the playoffs," he said. "They had messages on Facebook and Twitter warning people about buying from ticket places other than the official one."

He said the fact that tickethurry is offering tickets before they officially go on sale, "should raise a red flag."

Elton John last performed at McKenzie in 2010 in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,300.

"It's an honor to get a return performance," Webster said.


A story that ran on the front page of the Jan. 24 edition should have said that is a web-based clearinghouse for brokers and others who want to sell tickets to various events around the country. TicketHurry is not the actual seller of the tickets and has no connection to the source or the means in which brokers acquire their tickets.