A member-based website this week began offering tickets at half price for South Florida sporting events and other live entertainment events.
It has already stirred the ire of the Miami Heat, who took exception to a media report that they have partnered with Goldstar.com to unload excessive ticket inventories and compete with other secondary ticket brokers.
Heat President of Business Operations Eric S. Woolworth, who normally plays public comment close to the vest, called the claim “nonsense” in a written response posted on the Heat's web site. He went on to term as “idiocy” a contention in the article that demand for tickets in Year 2 of the Heat’s Big Three has fallen to the point that the team is having to offer tickets a bargain-basement prices.
“The fact is that every home game this year has been sold out and attendance on a per game basis is actually up over last year because we have sold more standing room only tickets than we did last year,” Woolworth wrote in a letter posted on the Heat website.
The announced crowd of 20,212 at Tuesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns was the largest of the season and did include standing room viewing.
“The fact is that Goldstar.com apparently bought some limited number of tickets through our Group Ticket department at the full Group price like any other ticket purchaser could do. Beyond that we have no relationship with them,” Woolworth wrote. “It appears that they are yet another entrant into the ever-growing secondary ticketing market and that they are now trying to resell the tickets they purchased from us.”
Goldstar has been offering half-price tickets in major cities around the country since 2002. They claim to work directly with 4,000 venues, notably Dodger Stadium, Madison Square Garden and the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
On Yelp.com, a popular site on which consumers post reviews of various businesses and services, Goldstar gets a rating of 4.5 out of a possible. 5.0 from 46 reviewers.
Many raved about their experience in obtaining tickets and the money they saved. Others expressed disappointment in the seats they received, service fees and customer service.
There is no cost to join, and the prices are enticing. But the inventory for South Florida events so far is limited.
The site Wednesday listed eight Heat games, but the April 19 game against the Bulls was already sold out and only 10 tickets remained for April 10 vs. the Celtics (going for $65 for $103 tickets).
Available ticket for all the games listed appeared to be for upper level seats, with prices ranging from $25 to $65.
There was one pair of tickets for Thursday’s (March 23) Florida Panthers game against Edmonton available for $15. StubHub.com was selling seats for that game as cheaply as $5 apiece.
Woolworth’s advice for everyone purchasing tickets on the secondary market is buyer beware, noting that Goldstar and other outlets, including StubHub and eBay, cannot guarantee the authenticity of the tickets they sell.
“There are other sites, big and small, that will tell consumers that they will get a refund if the tickets they buy turn out to be fraudulent; which is all well and good, except that in our experience what ticket buyers want is not a refund but entrance to the event they believe they have purchased tickets to attend,” Woolworth wrote.
“The ONLY way to guarantee entrance to a game or event when buying a ticket on the secondary market and to know with 100% certainty that the tickets are authentic is to use www.heat.com/ticketexchange.”