Sporting Kansas City has always been good with its fans and tickets. They will give the Season Ticket Holders the first crack to purchase their existing seats, and then allow the public to gather up what is last.
However, for the US Open Cup final Sporting Kansas City made, in my opinion, a very big mistake. Four days before the tickets went live for the general public, the season ticket holders were able to purchase their existing seats. That's fine, and that's what should happen.
It was the day before the tickets went live for the general public that a mistake was made. They gave the season ticket holders the opportunity to purchase extra seats. There was no limit on how many they could buy.
This left the public out in the cold because during that day, all seats in the members stand, South Stand and many other sections were bought in bulk by scalpels and put on third party websites for amounts almost six times original face value. I saw member's stand tickets online for $84-$125, for a ticket that costs $20.
This is exactly what Sporting KC did not want to happen. Since the beginning, they've tried everything they can do to help prevent scalping, and the selling of tickets at more than their face value. They tried to put the season ticket holders first, but by doing that they left the rest of the general public out in the cold.
That wasn't the only mistake that Sporting Kansas City made in this whole ticket process. They emailed all of the season ticket holders a code that would allow them to participate in the pre-sale. However there were multiple season ticket holders that were not sent the email. They never received the code, and therefore never received the opportunity to purchase tickets beforehand.
Luckily for some fans, the Cauldron released 325 tickets on the day that ticket sales went live to the general public. Those tickets were gone in 40 minutes, but some non-season ticket holders were at least able to have a chance to get to sit in the member's stand. There are still far too many other fans who got screwed by this deal on Monday. They will either have to buy tickets at 4-6 times their face value, or miss out on the final altogether.
For events like this in the future, Sporting Kansas City needs to first of all make sure that all season ticket holders are emailed the code for the pre-sale, and that they have the opportunity to cash in on the perks they deserve as Season Ticket holders.
They also can do two things with the extra seats for the season ticket holders. The first option, and my personal choice, is to not give the season ticket holders the ability to purchase extra seats until the day that the tickets are available to the public. The second option would be to allow the season ticket holders to purchase extra seats one day in advance like they did for this, but limit the amount of tickets able to be purchased at a lower number like four or five.
Not only will this prevent another mess like this for future events, it will also cut down on scalping, and tickets being sold at a higher price than face value. There's not definite way to stop it, but they can at least cut down on it.
There's nothing they can do about the fiasco this year. I don't know if people will shell out the extra money for the overpriced tickets provided by the scalpers or not. If not, then attendance will suffer. If they do, the fans will have gotten royally screwed by a problem that easily could've been avoided.
Whatever the case may be, the passion shown by the people who weren't able to get tickets, or are relieved that they did get tickets is very indicative of the passion for Sporting KC in this town. Hopefully this is a learning experience for Sporting KC, and ticket problems like this are fixed in the future.