In Tampa, Eric Church took 304 tickets away from scalpers — but how?

The country star's team manually invalidated 25,000 tickets nationwide.

click to enlarge Eric Church, who plays Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on May 4, 2017. - Country Music Hall of Fame / Jill Trunnell
Country Music Hall of Fame / Jill Trunnell
Eric Church, who plays Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on May 4, 2017.

Last week, country music superstar Eric Church cancelled 25,000 tickets allegedly bought by scalpers and released them back to fans. According to Amalie Arena officials, 304 of those tickets were for Church’s May 4 show in Tampa

DO THIS: ERIC CHURCH AT AMALIE ARENA 05.04.17

"They buy thousands of tickets across the U.S., not just mine, and they end up making a fortune," Church told The Associated Press. "They use fake credit cards, fake IDs. All of this is fraud." Church’s team has been practicing this throughout their “Holdin’ My Own” tour by utilizing a manual process that systematically identifies and cancels scalper tickets before releasing them back to the public.

UPDATE: On April 18, Eric Church added $35 seats to his "Church Choir" section where ultimate fans get some of the best views. They're available online.

“It’s not easy. It’s time consuming and labor intensive to comb through nearly 1 million tickets,” Fielding Logan, one of Church’s managers at Q Prime South said in a release. “Yet, Eric is leading the charge, and our team is combatting these vultures, one cancellation at a time.”

Billboard says that the team does occasionally catch suspected scalpers who just end up being dedicated fans. When that happens they just jusk the buyer to show up in person and pick their tickets up at will call with a valid ID. Logan says that the in-person requirements lead brokers to walk away.

The news is all part of a greater conversation surrounding ticket prices, bots and the responsibility of the secondary ticketing market. Former President Obama even acknowledged the issue in December by signing the Better Online Ticketing Sales Act. It’s a complicated battle, and some ticket brokers think Church’s approach is short sighted considering how wicked some brokers can be.

Logan insists they won’t quit.

“Battling scalper efforts isn’t just identifying those individuals looming on street corners soliciting or hawking tickets anymore. It’s halting digital multi-million dollar enterprises that are sophisticated and aimed at taking advantage of the fan for profit,” Logan said.

“They embody everything we’re against,” he added. “It’s a ton of manpower and money that Eric won’t recoup, but he’s doing it because he believes it’s the right thing to do.”

Get more information on Church's May 4 show via local.cltampa.com.

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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