Super Bowl tickets: StubHub, eBay sellers leave diehard B.C. Seahawks fan ticketless

Tickets to Sunday's Super Bowl are running at a minimum of $10,000 — and as one B.C. fan found out, even buying tickets early doesn't guarantee you a seat at the game.

Online ticket sellers pulled out of early Super Bowl sales after cost of tickets to game skyrocketed to $10K

Diehard Seattle Seahawks fan Brendon Kuhn poses with the Lombardi Trophy, which the Seattle team won during at the 2014 Super Bowl. (Brendon Kuhn)

Tickets to Sunday's Super Bowl XLIX between the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots may go down as the most expensive in history — running a minimum of $10,000 if you can find them.

But a Seahawks fan from Abbotsford, B.C. discovered the hard way that even buying tickets early, from online sellers like eBay and StubHub, which is owned by eBay, didn't guarantee him a seat at the game.

Brendon Kuhn first bought a ticket to the game on Saturday, Jan. 17 through online ticket broker StubHub  before Seattle even secured a spot at the final.

"I was confident in them winning and the price was so good on StubHub that I just jumped on it," he told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

Kuhn bought the tickets for $1,600, but on Monday he received an e-mail telling him the purchase was cancelled because the seller had pulled out.

They saw an opportunity to make much more money and they screwed a lot of people in the process- Brendon Kuhn, diehard and ticketless Seahawks fan

StubHub has a guarantee for ticket buyers promising they will be able to go to the event they purchase a ticket for, but Kuhn said the company told him they couldn't get him tickets to the Super Bowl, offering him a $1,000 credit to future purchases instead.

"StubHub protects both buyers and sellers with our Fan Protect Guarantee, wherein buyers are protected 100 per cent, and we provide a full refund and/or comparable replacement tickets in location and price," said StubHub spokesperson Alison Salcedo.

"Mr. Kuhn's order was cancelled because the seller mis-listed, and in follow up, our records show that exactly one day later, Mr. Kuhn re-posted the same tickets for sale at nearly double the price he paid," she added.

"In most any other case involving a mis-listing, we'd work to accommodate the buyer, but not in a situation where he is attempting to take advantage of our marketplace."

Kuhn however clarified he always intended to go the Sea Hawks game and was hoping to reduce the cost of his overall trip by re-selling the tickets at a higher price and then buying another pair for a cheaper price. 

While Kuhn was refunded the original $1,600, ticket prices had risen so dramatically, the extra $1,000 didn't even come close to covering the difference.

eBay seller also backs out

Kuhn continued his quest for tickets and last Tuesday, Jan. 20, Kuhn won an eBay auction for a ticket for $1,700 from a small ticket broker based out of St. Louis, Miss.

"The problem there was from that point on ... all the way through Wednesday night this week, I thought I had tickets and then I received a distressed e-mail from the CEO of that company and he said his ticket suppliers had all bailed."

Again, Kuhn was refunded the original amount, and said the company added an extra $200 to the refund as an apology.

Kuhn isn't alone. He's found other stories online of fans who thought they had tickets only to find the supplier pulled out.

"The suppliers bailed once they saw how the secondary market had skyrocketed and they saw an opportunity to make much more money and they screwed a lot of people in the process."

Kuhn has conceded defeat and cancelled his flight to Arizona.

"At the end of the day, I just wanted in the stadium. I didn't care if [I had seats so high] I had the worst nosebleeds there."

"I'm a Seahawks season ticket holder, a diehard fan. I looked at it as a once in a lifetime opportunity."

To hear the full interview with Seahawks fan Brendon Kuhn, click the audio labelled: B.C. fan's attempts to get Super Bowl tickets.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.