MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis Super Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium is 31 days away.
The Minnesota Vikings have at least one more playoff game there before the big game.
Fans and officials are warning people to be on the lookout for fake tickets.
Vikings officials say the number of counterfeit tickets sold has increased with the team’s wins.
Charley Niesen was one of about 100 people who bought phony tickets to Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.
“It was my birthday, New Year’s Eve, meeting up with our friends, their first football game,” Niesen said.
They traveled from Brainerd for the last game of the regular season, checked into their hotel and then arrived at the stadium.
“They went to scan the ticket and the lady looked kind of confused, and she asked us to step aside because there was a problem.” Niesen said.
The Niesens learned an expensive lesson: Vikings don’t sell a physical game ticket.
“The other lady said, ‘I’m sorry, these aren’t real,'” Niesen said.
The only way to get in the door is by using the Vikings mobile app or a printed e-ticket. There are three authorized ticket outlets: Vikings Ticket Office, Ticketmaster and the NFL TicketExchange.
Otherwise, you are buying at your own risk.
Niesen found her tickets on Craigslist. Her mom met the seller and paid $650 cash for four seats.
“Once I found out they were fake I just started bawling,” Niesen said. “It was kind of, you trust people to have someone totally violate you and your hard work. And the way to end the New Year, it just felt like a slap in the face.”
The couples did end up buying other tickets to go to the game. In all, they spent $1,750.
The Viking recommend paying with a credit card through Pay Pal if going through an unauthorized seller. That can offer protection and a way to be reimbursed.
Avoid paying in cash, with a cashier’s check or gift card.
If you are buying a paper e-ticket, look for inaccuracies on the ticket. Cross check it with the stadium map to make sure the seats exist.
Ask the seller to take a picture with an ID with tickets, or ask the seller to accompany you to the gate to make sure the ticket works.