Ticket broker Jeff Cook drastically oversold his allotment of Notre Dame vs. University of Georgia football tickets, leaving hundreds of fans without seats and out money. Cook was trying to ‘short’ the game — a tactic brokers use when they think the price of a ticket is going to drop over time. Cook took a bunch of orders before he had the tickets in his hand, but was enough actually able to procure the tickets as the price skyrocketed.
The Saturday (Sept. 9) game marked the first time UGA would play at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana and according to a report from WXIA in Atlanta, Cook sold tickets to fans hoping to see the Fighting Irish take on the Bulldogs. Cook, who runs a ticket site called AllSports, oversold his tickets and began mailing out notices that fans weren’t getting their tickets.
UGA fan Seth Welch told WXIA that he had purchased a ticket from Cook in May and was left scrambling for one of the most expensive football tickets of the season. Tickets were averaging $1,168 each.
“The late notice was really the worst part. I haven’t heard from the guy,” Welch said. “Word on the street is the Notre Dame fans that promised him tickets saw the Georgia fans were paying premiums for tickets and kind of held out, gave him his money back, and decided to sell them on their own on the market for higher dollar amount.”
Cook told fans earlier this year they were supposed to receive their tickets in August, but kept pushing back the date. People were trying to desperately get in touch with Cook, but he would not answer his phone and his voicemail was full. Some fans, including Gary Wilbourn who ordered 19 tickets from Cook and only received two, drove to Cook’s home since his address is listed on the AllSports site and found a note taped to the front door.
“If you are coming for UGA vs ND tickets I am shipping them out as fast as I recieve (sic) them from my supplier. I know that some of you are leaving early next week. I will not recieve (sic) another shipment in until Tuesday. I am out of town Sunday [and] Monday on a family emerancy (sic). I am shipping tickets as fast as I can to people. Thanks, Jeff.”
Wilbourn reached out to the Putnam County Sheriff’s office to discover that a complaint had already been filed against Cook.
“The sheriff had had a previous complaint and went to his house last Friday,” Wilbourn told WXIA. “The sheriff said after a while he opened the door and showed the sheriff where he had a stack of about 300 overnight envelopes and a stack of tickets. Cook told him he was getting them out as fast as they came in. The sheriff told us that until the game is played and we don’t have our tickets he has not committed a crime.”
Some fans have received a refund from Cook, but others are attempting to cancel credit card purchases and leaving reviews on Google and Yelp to warn others about the broker’s behavior. One other reviewer claimed Cook pulled a similar stunt during the Masters in Augusta, Georgia.
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