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BBB warns baseball fans to be wary before Jays tickets go on sale

File photo/Toronto Blue Jays

Local baseball fans are looking ahead to next Thursday, when tickets go on sale for Toronto Blue Jays home games at Sahlen Field. Meanwhile, the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York is warning fans to be cautious of any ticket offers, especially before the Major League Baseball franchise begins selling them.

The Blue Jays, the parent club of the minor league Buffalo Bisons, will return to Sahlen Field to borrow Buffalo's ballpark for the second summer in a row, beginning June 1, because of the COVID pandemic. The Bisons are playing their "home games" in Trenton, New Jersey to make way for the Blue Jays.

This year, fans will be admitted to home games. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale Thursday, May 20 for the first home dates in Buffalo. The Better Business Bureau's Melanie McGovern warns fans that if you're already seeing ads for tickets online, you're risking becoming a scam victim.

For starters, secondary ticket sales websites already offering seats don't actually have them. You're paying to take the chance they'll be able to secure them.

“You just really want to be careful anytime you shop on the secondary market, because the tickets aren’t guaranteed in some cases, like now with the speculative tickets,” McGovern said. “And the Blue Jays have said point blank, they're not going to help you if you get scammed out of tickets. They’re not going to refund any kind of money because you're not paying them. You're paying these secondary websites to get the tickets for you, when tickets will be on sale next week.”

While games will be played in Buffalo, the Bisons' ticket office has no part in sales for Blue Jays games. They're being handled directly by the big league team and by the website StubHub.com.

And all tickets, McGovern points out, are being sold digitally.

“There aren't any paper tickets. So if somebody offers to sell you a paper ticket, it's fraudulent,” she said. “Make sure you know the sections rows and the seating arrangements as sale and field before you buy a ticket online. One of the secondary markets I clicked on still had the maps of the Rogers Centre (Toronto's home stadium). So you really want to be careful that you know where these tickets are going to be.”

Seating will be limited, with some sections set aside for vaccinated fans and more spread-out seats for unvaccinated fans. McGovern reminds interested fans that, given the Blue Jays are a Major League team, tickets will cost much more than those sold for Buffalo Bisons games. Those prices are expected to be higher for games against some of baseball's more popular teams and division rivals, including the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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