Tickets for the upcoming playoff games between the Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Rangers at PNC Arena are being limited to buyers from North Carolina, South Carolina and southern Virginia.
And some New Yorkers are not happy about it.
We are apparently doomed to repeat the same stupid timeline over and over again.
(N&O banner headline from Game 1 of the 2002 finals, post-Mitch Albom making an ass of himself: “Shazam!”)
And the Yankees geofence ticket sales too, Howie. https://t.co/2gseOwUYvO
— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) May 17, 2022
The Canes’ official website redirects buyers to entertainment marketplace Ticketmaster for ticket sales. On the top right corner of the screen, a notice warns buyers of a restricted sales area: only those with a billing address in either of the Carolinas or southern Virginia will get to order tickets.
Anyone with an address outside of the restricted sales area might be able to purchase tickets, only to have their orders canceled and refunded.
The News & Observer reached out to Hurricanes’ spokespersons for comment, but they have yet to respond.
‘To better serve fans’
The notice on Ticketmaster says that the restricted sales area is in place “to better serve Carolina Hurricanes fans,” and notes that “PNC Arena is located in Raleigh, NC.”
This isn’t the first time a sports team has “geo-blocked” ticket sales.
Another NHL team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, did it in 2018, according to The Washington Post. The team barred buyers without a Florida ZIP code in their billing addresses from buying tickets for playoffs games against the Washington Capitals hosted in Tampa.
The Los Angeles Rams also restricted sales to certain areas for the NFC Championship game last season against the San Francisco 49ers, a rule they later changed.
Teams can regulate initial ticket sales, but often cannot regulate secondary markets. So buyers within the restricted sales area can resell their tickets on marketplaces like Vivid Seats or StubHub if they can no longer go or are trying to earn an extra buck. Fans outside the geo-blocked area could buy tickets on those sites, but face paying more than the original price tag from scalping and extra fees.
As of early Tuesday afternoon, the cheapest price for a single ticket to the first game in the second round on Ticketmaster was $95 before taxes and fees. That ticket was on the highest row of section 318.
The most expensive tickets were a pair of front row, lower-level seats on resale for $1,250 apiece before taxes and fees.
Round 2 of the playoffs
The Hurricanes-Rangers second-round series starts Wednesday at PNC Arena. Game 1 is slated for a 7 p.m. start and will be broadcast exclusively on ESPN and its family of networks and apps.
For a full schedule and stats, read here.