MLS cancels tickets ahead of championship game

Before even season ticket holders could secure seats, tickets began popping up at more than triple face value on ticket resale sites.
Columbus Crew forward Cucho Hernández celebrates a goal.
Posted at 12:16 PM, Dec 05, 2023

Days before Major League Soccer holds its championship match in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday, the Columbus Crew announced that an unspecified number of tickets would be canceled. 

The club, which earned the opportunity to host this year's MLS Cup after winning the league's Eastern Conference, said that a code for the match's password-protected presale was accessed by "unauthorized parties." The club announced that tickets sold to unauthorized parties would be canceled. 

The incident came after dozens of season ticket holders complained that there were no tickets available for Saturday's title match between Columbus and Los Angeles F.C. Ticketmaster, which is handling ticket sales for the league, said that league sponsors had the first opportunity to buy tickets hours before season ticket holders. 

While season ticket holders were given a unique code for tickets, Columbus fans noted on social media that the code "23sponsor" allowed people to buy up to 20 tickets in one transaction. That code is no longer valid to purchase tickets. 

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In a situation Taylor Swift fans can relate to, tickets began popping up at more than triple face value on ticket resale sites before Monday's season ticket presale. As of Tuesday morning, resale ticket prices on StubHub have fallen some, but still remain nearly double face value. 

The MLS has not responded to Scripps News regarding how many tickets were revoked. A check of Ticketmaster when tickets were rereleased showed hundreds of tickets available; those tickets were quickly sold. 

It's unclear how many of the revoked tickets were sold on ticket resale sites. Many reputable ticket resale sites, such as StubHub and SeatGeek, offer full refunds if tickets are not valid for entry. The league has not said whether fans holding resale tickets will have to wait until Saturday to know if their tickets are valid.