NHL Seattle cracking down on ticket brokers

SEATTLE -- With the excitement of professional hockey coming to Seattle, the group leading that charge is telling ticket brokers to quit hogging all the tickets.

According to The Seattle Times, NHL Seattle is telling brokers to stop stockpiling the ticket inventory from others because they want true fans -- the ones who made the deposits a year ago -- to have first crack at getting tickets.

They also said they don't want brokers manipulating the system.

Ticket deposits opened up in March 2018 -- months before NHL approved a pro hockey team in Seattle. Within 12 minutes, 10,000 people had put down a deposit. That number passed 25,000 in a little more than an hour, until NHL Seattle capped the list at 32,000 people.

Now, the team wants to make sure those fans, the ones who made $500-$1,000 deposits before the team was approved, have the first crack at tickets.

Geoff Baker, an NHL writer and columnist for The Seattle Times, said he doesn't believe the move to strip tickets from brokers will help to lower ticket prices. Sometimes, brokers sell tickets for less than face value because they'll lose money if they don't sell them all.

"History has shown that ... as leagues take away from brokers, prices have still tended to go up," he said. "So, I don't know that brokers are the entirety of this problem when you talk about that."

But Baker said the move will still benefit fans, because more true hockey fans will have more opportunities for tickets.

NHL Seattle released the following statement when contacted by Q13:

"We want to make sure tickets are in the hands of true fans, and to secure the distribution of tickets and prevent fraud. This week we will be calling known brokers and refunding them their deposits. NHL Seattle is committed to ensuring that the dedicated hockey fans have the opportunity to purchase tickets."

It's still unclear when ticket sales will start. The team, which still doesn't have a name, won't start playing until the 2021 season.