Seahawks tickets bring out fans, price gouging

SEATTLE — A long wait, but Seahawks tickets are in hand for Art Graddy.

An annual tradition ended in success compared to previous years in the ticket lottery outside of CenturyLink Field.

“Last year, I was number 263. Year before that—161. Year before that, I was 563.”

There’s passion no doubt for Seahawks fans who have camped out (against team orders) since the early weekend.

“And it's just devotion. These people are crazy. We just really love the Seahawks and they want to watch the games,” said fan Craig Beckett.

But there is also vulnerability, according to the Better Business Bureau's David Quinlan.

“With the Seahawks being this commodity, people are trying to get their hands on these tickets,” he said.

With sellouts a guarantee and only 67,000 options, the secondary market online becomes one of the few choices.

No hopes of face value or below, so how to stop the gouging?

“So there's only so much that we can do at Better Business Bureau. There's only so much that the law permits us to do,” Quinlan said.

That's true.

The Hawks and others are moving to more in-person sales to slow down the inevitable scalping by organized groups.

Same for bot sales snaking prime seats through automated online programs. That's actually been illegal in Washington since 2015.

You may have also noticed a growing hit at checkout, too. We found a single ticket listed at $175, the cheapest on a broker site. But until you bust out the credit card or chip off some gold bullion, you can check a box to find the real price with fees.

That ticket jumped from $175 to over $212, just on fees alone.

Quinlan agrees it's inflated, but it's not illegal or shady. Just business---and fans need to go at it eyes wide open.

“They're basically not doing their research and the're looking for bargains,” he said.

When love of the game wins out over financial sense.

“One way or the other, if there's a game going on here, I make sure my presence is in the midst,” Graddy said, clutching his tickets before hopping back in line for more.

A Seahawks spokesperson issued the following statement:

We understand there was a bit of confusion at our single-game ticket event at CenturyLink Field this morning because fans were camping outside of stadium property. We discouraged camping and fans were not permitted on CenturyLink Field property until 7 a.m. this morning. Single-game tickets still remain at the CenturyLink Field Box Office for $65.50. Everyone who attended our on-sale event were able to purchase Seahawks tickets. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion.