ATLANTA - The National Championship Football match up is sold out. But you can still get very expensive, re-sale tickets. Because of the high dollar value, these tickets are ripe for a scam. Here's the low down on how to avoid being game day loser.
You need to know the rules of the ticket game so you aren't a ticket scam victim. Believe me, the folks who organize this game tell me they hate when they see family's who've spent a lot of money to get the kids into a once-in-a-lifetime game then turned away often in tears.
"It's heartbreaking when you hear that someone has saved money, maybe a family of four, a father-son duo, then they get to the gate, the scan doesn't work, and they realize they've been had," Michael Kelly the Chief Operating Officer at Championship Football Playoff.
Let's start with this: There are no paper tickets.
"I can assure you there is nothing that is legitimate that has been printed out at home. There's no such thing. There's either a hard acrylic ticket or it's on your phone," Mr. Kelly warns.
Your smartphone. A ticket after purchase will come to you through an app called CFBPlayoff. It lands here if you've bought a ticket through a legitimate source. There's more from the COO. Keep reading.
"Really, if you haven't gotten it straight from the ticket office or the Alabama and Georgia ticket offices you really need to go to Ticket Master Fan-to-Fan Exchange because those are the only tickets we know that are verified."
Last year at the championship game, there was a ticket scam operating. Fans had their paper tickets pick-pocketed at the pre-game festivities. The tickets were re-printed and sold. Tampa police arrested seven people for fraud.
Next to Mercedes-Benz Stadium at the Georgia World Congress Center, we went behind-the-scenes to watch the Playoff Fan Central go up. It's an amazingly smooth operation. But back at the home office in Dallas, they were fending off a glitch with the ticket app. Tickets that were bought weren't populating the app.
"Good news is that it's isolated. We know there are some issues and we know they need to be addressed."
Soon after our interview, Mr. Kelly called to say they believe the glitches are gone.
Listen, if you don't get a ticket, don't fret. There are so many surrounding, free ways to get in on the action. Outside at Centennial Olympic Park, there's a fun, watch party.
Just inside there is more fun. And it's not too expensive either. Playoff Fan Central tickets are $8, $10 at the door. Kids 12 and under with an adult ticket get in free.
Also, at that same spot, you can check out a kiosk that'll scan your ticket to make sure it's OK. And help you with understanding how to use the app.
Finally, one more thing, news about a ticket giveaway. The Atlanta Track Club has the Extra Yard 5K on Sunday morning. Sign up, show up and get your name in for a drawing for tickets to the game. Good luck.