It's a thrill a minute on the ice. Watching hockey’s Stanley Cup final at home is exciting, but if you want to see the action up close at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden you're going to fork over as much as a thousand bucks a ticket.
“We're out here because we can't afford to get inside,” a fan hanging outside the arena told INSIDE EDITION. “I think it's crazy.” “It’s too damn expensive,” said another.
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But scalpers are selling these coveted tickets all over the streets outside the Garden. The Inside Edition I-Squad wanted to know if those tickets are the real thing, or are desperate fans paying through the nose for tickets that are completely bogus.
That's what happened to one fan who told his sad story to Inside Edition. He paid $500 for two playoff tickets. They certainly looked authentic, but when he tried to enter The Garden, he found that he’d been scammed.
“I feel like an idiot,” he said. “I feel like an idiot and I’m a New Yorker, I should know better.”
An Inside Edition producer took him back to the Garden with hidden cameras to check out the scalping situation and it didn't take long for them to find shady characters selling questionable tickets.
“What is the maximum price you'll spend?” asked a ticket seller.
Our producer said, “You tell us how much they are?”
“Five hundred, six hundred dollars each,” replied the seller.
What a deal - two tickets for a thousand bucks. But we had to go through major hoops to get them.
The seller said, “Go to the escalator, go straight down and a guy will come right behind you. There's a lot of police out here, alright.”
When the guy met our producer and fan, he said they’d have to proceed to yet another location. Down another escalator, and then the final meeting place, to, of all places, a public bathroom at New York City’s Penn Station.
The guy asked him, “Are you a cop?”
He replied, “No.”
When they met the scalpers in that bathroom, our producer was assured the tickets were the real deal.
“You guarantee me?” he asked.
“Guarantee they are legit,” the seller said.
That's when Inside Edition Correspondent Les Trent decided to step in, “What are you guy's selling here? Are these real, is this for real”
A seller responded, “What are you talking about?”
Another man said, “Get my face off the camera.”
That's when one guy tore up the tickets he was trying to sell to us. We went to the Madison Square Garden box office. The official verdict: the tickets were fakes.
“Very bogus,” said a person at the box office.
How do we know? The face value on the ticket: $599. The Garden tells us no such ticket amount exists.
Trent asked the bogus seller, “Are you trying to rip people off?”
The guy responded, “Rip who off?”
“I don't know, you are tying to sell these guys tickets,” said Trent.
The seller said, “I don't know this guy, I don't know what you are talking about.”
The fan said, “You just gave me these.”
With that, the seller broke into a sprint and ran away.
“When he was running away, I felt like I did my part to try and prevent this from happening to other people,” the fan told INSIDE EDITION. “I felt good about that.”