CINCINNATI - The Reds and the Cincinnati Police Department are investigating the sale of hundreds of counterfeit tickets to Thursday's Opening Day game against the Miami Marlins.
The Vice President of Ticket Sales John Davis says the tickets looked real.
"We had not seen that level of counterfeit tickets before and the time and the detail that went into it. As more tickets and volume continued to come to our gates then we knew this is not only a well done effort but it's a sizable. So immediately Cincinnati Police was brought in," Davis said Friday afternoon.
Officials believe several hundred counterfeit tickets were sold on the streets in the hours leading up to the start of the game and at least 47 of those counterfeit tickets were presented for admission to Great American Ball Park.
"Counterfeiters have gotten so good at making their tickets look real that it's nearly impossible for the buyer to realize the tickets are fake," said John O'Brien, Reds Senior Director of Ticket Operations. "Luckily, the technology at the ballpark is airtight and counterfeit tickets are immediately rejected by our system."
The counterfeit tickets were sold on the streets from "secondary markets," according to the Reds.
"Buyer beware," said Kerry Rowland, Reds Director of Public Safety, "It is difficult to see our fans taken advantage of like this, which is why buying directly from our box office, Reds.com, Ticketmaster, Stub Hub and Reds ticket kiosks is the best way to guarantee your ticket will be valid."
Fans have several options to purchase tickets, including the following:
- Internet: reds.com
- Phone: (513) 381-REDS or (877) 647-REDS (7337)
- In person: Great American Ball Park ticket windows, select Kroger stores with Ticketmaster retail outlets and Reds.com kiosks on Crosley Terrace, Fountain Square and at the downtown Cincinnati Skyline Chili at 4th and Sycamore streets.
333SEAT and Riverchoice Tickets say they go through several steps to verify the tickets they purchase from season ticket holders.
"We purchase tickets from season ticket holders. We do always find out. We get a photo ID so we know who we're buying the tickets from. We verify the employment and things like that just so we know we have legitimate tickets," said Travis Davis from 333SEAT and Riverchoice Tickets.