College Sports

Why it’ll be tough — and also risky — to get KU-Mizzou tickets now

Michael Porter Jr.’s Mizzou team meets Devonte Graham and Kansas on Sunday at a sold-out Sprint Center.
Michael Porter Jr.’s Mizzou team meets Devonte Graham and Kansas on Sunday at a sold-out Sprint Center.

The hottest ticket in Kansas City has no legitimate sellers.

Sunday’s anticipated men’s basketball exhibition between Kansas and Missouri sold out Tuesday afternoon, which sent many fans of both schools searching for ways they could still get in.

It’ll be tougher for this game than many others. Because the event is for charity — money raised is going to hurricane relief — secondary ticket brokers have chosen not to resell tickets.

That includes Tickets For Less in Kansas City, as vice president of sales and marketing Jay Harig said his company’s final decision came after discussions with KU, Missouri and the Sprint Center, where the game will be played at 3 p.m. Sunday.

“We all determined that it would be best for the public to perceive this for what it’s supposed to be,” Harig said. “It just probably wasn’t the right look for Tickets For Less to be selling tickets to an event where all the money is going back to a good cause.”

Other places have made the same decision. StubHub is not listing tickets for the game, and while SeatGeek had a listing up Wednesday afternoon, it was taken down after The Star contacted it for this story.

Chris Leyden, content analyst at SeatGeek, said the site aggregated from other ticket outlets and often had to manually take down philanthropic events when the staff learned of them.

“We are certainly not in the business of trying to profit off a charity event,” Leyden said. “I hope there’s no one in the secondary marketplace who’s trying to profit on charity events, period.”

KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony confirmed that KU Athletics officials had reached out to area secondary ticket providers to request they not resell tickets, saying the “general concept of this game was to have all the revenue going one direction.”

Michael Porter Jr., the nation's top-rate freshman, discussed the return of the Border War and Missouri's NBA pro day on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017.

KU men's basketball coach Bill Self spoke Friday about the Jayhawks playing Missouri in an exhibition game at 3 p.m. Sunday, October 22 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

These measures, though, have also left few options for fans still wanting to attend.

Some have gone to Craigslist, which had many potential buyers and sellers in its “tickets” subsection Wednesday. Some seats were listed for as much as $750 — nearly four times the $200 maximum ticket price set by the schools.

Marchiony said KU hadn’t told its ticket buyers to avoid reselling for profit, but he did say there potentially would be some online monitoring of sites like Craigslist for KU season-ticket holders “because of what the focus is supposed to be.”

Harig also warns potential buyers to be careful when dealing with non-guaranteed tickets, which could contain fraudulent barcodes.

“There’s always going to be tickets on the open market,” Harig said. “But whether or not it’s on the up and up or not … with all the (secondary ticket) companies bowing out of this event, the fake tickets are going to be on the street.”

Jesse Newell: 816-234-4759, @jessenewell