Keeper of the Plans

Where hundreds of McCartney tickets went (hint: buyers likely won’t be at concert)

Intrust Arena in downtown Wichita
Intrust Arena in downtown Wichita File photo

Wondering how much it’s going to cost you to get front-row seats for the Paul McCartney show at Intrust Bank Arena this summer?

If you want to go the “legit” route, try $2,100. If you’re going the resale route, those tickets could cost you $7,000.

Tickets to McCartney’s July 19 show at Intrust Bank Arena sold quickly after they were made available to the public at 10 a.m. on Monday. By midafternoon, arena staff indicated “very limited” tickets remained, and by the end of the business day, no tickets were left available through Select-a-Seat, according to Christine Pileckas, director of sales and marketing at the arena in downtown Wichita.

The only seats left as of Monday evening through Select-a-Seat were special VIP packages, which start at $475 per package and range up to $2,100 for that front-row experience.

What do you get with those VIP packages? It varies by price level, but all of them include a collectible ticket, collectible laminate holder and merchandise designed exclusively for package buyers. The top packages, “Hot Sound Packages,” which start at $1,600 and range to $2,100 for the front-row option, also give you access to McCartney’s sound check, a pre-show hospitality reception, a limited-edition numbered lithograph and priority check-in and entrance.

Before Monday, plenty of people also had taken advantage of American Express pre-sale offers.

It is doubtful that all those McCartney tickets were bought by people actually intending to attend the concert, and a cursory check of resale sites indicates that indeed may not be the case.

On Google – where ads for four ticket resale sites appear above the official Select-a-Seat website – hundreds of tickets remain available. That is, if you’re willing to pay exceedingly high amounts to get them.

A couple of standouts:

▪ On Vividseats – $7,400 for one front-row VIP package experience the seller “is committing to procure ... for you upon receipt of your order.” If you’re going to spend that much money, why not purchase them direct from the source for $5,000 cheaper?

▪ Also on Vividseats – $2,900 for a lower-bowl seat (Section 117, Row L). Keep in mind, you can still pick up the official $2,100 front-row package for cheaper than this.

Most of these high-price tickets also just list an “expected ship date” of July 17 – just two days before the show.

▪ Stubhub, a resale site that is generally recognized as legitimate, lists 794 tickets to the McCartney show on its site as of Monday evening. The cheapest tickets are available in the $150-$250 range, but we’re talking upper-bowl, near-the-top-of-the arena seats, primarily, that would have sold for about half that on Select-a-Seat.

Original ticket prices on Select-a-Seat were $31.50, $61.50, $101.50, $167 and $252.

Pileckas, the arena’s director of sales and marketing, said the arena has a system of detecting when robots or other scalpers attempt to purchase tickets from Select-a-Seat.

“If we can tell for certain that it’s a scalper or a robot, we reject the ticket sales,” she said. “If our system doesn’t detect it, we can’t prevent it. We do everything we can to prevent ticket scalping.”

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