TAMPA, Fla. — They're the hottest tickets in town, passes to the Tampa Bay Lightning's Stanley Cup Championship Celebration Wednesday night at Raymond James Stadium.
Lucky fans who managed to get tickets are preparing to celebrate with the Bolts at 7:30 p.m. And when we say lucky, we mean it. Tickets ran out within minutes of the queue opening.
“I logged in at 1:00 on the dot. As soon as I logged in, it said 2,000 ahead of you,” Mike Buerki, explained to 10 Investigates' Jennifer Titus.
Mike isn't alone. Hundreds of other Lightning fans had the same experience.
“At 12:50, I was in a waiting room; and by 1:00, I was in a queue,” said Michelle Wasner.
Michelle and Mike were in the queue with thousands of Tampa Bay Lightning fans looking to score a ticket to celebrate the Stanley Cup champs.
“They were gone as soon as we made available," explained Bill Wickett with the Lightning.
"There will be 15,000 people at Raymond James.”
But only about several thousand of those tickets were given out to the general public for free.
"That’s the unfortunate thing because of coronavirus. We’re working off the seating manifest of USF football games and that allots for about 15,000 people," Wickett said.
The other unfortunate thing, some of those free tickets are now being sold for hundreds of dollars. We found them for sale on eBay, Craigslist and Facebook. We even tried to call on some but didn’t have luck.
“I might use the word disgusting. I know people may pay that price to go into the stadium and see people play their team,” said Michelle.
“I was really disappointed to see that. If they paid for that ticket and sold it at face value ok. But start selling free things? I'm not a fan of that," said Mike.
“We're disappointed. We made tickets for free. We wanted to make them available for free, and it’s unfortunate that opportunists out there claim tickets and sell on open markets. Unfortunate, but not much we can do about it,” explained Wickett.
And he’s right. There’s nothing illegal about it according to Florida Law.
Despite not being able to get into the celebration tonight, Mike and Michelle say they’re still going to the boat parade and will find other ways to celebrate the Stanley Cup Champs.
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