BUFFALO, Minn. - A Buffalo teen has a warning for people searching for event tickets online after he was turned away from seeing his wrestling idols at a WWE wrestling event.
He learned his tickets were sold twice on separate ticket websites.
Bryer Bakken, 16, says he dreamed of attending the WWE event for months after wrestling with tough circumstances of his own in his teen years. He's been a victim of bullying and recently fought an eating disorder. He is being raised by a single mother who battles chronic illness, so Bakken sees professional wrestlers as father figures and heroes.
"Picture the bad guy as a bully. If you picture the good guy, that's me. The good guy always somehow comes through it and makes it through," said Bakken.
With that determination, Bakken worked a part-time job at a fast food restaurant to buy tickets to the WWE Smackdown show Sept. 3 at the Target Center. For just under $200, he purchased two seats from www.localticket.com, a site that sells tickets from individuals, brokers and venues. He decided to bring his mom with him.
"So she could see my smile, my first real smile in a little while," he said.
Once at the Target Center, they were turned away when the tickets would not scan. Staff at the Target Center had no choice to send them home when the tickets showed up as "void."
"I am not normally the type to tear up, but I was crying a little bit," said Bryer Bakken.
Two weeks later, a LocalTicket investigation found the supplier accidentally double sold the tickets. In an email to the Bakkens, the company pointed to the supplier's human error.
"Either a person or a company posted their ticket on multiple sites. Someone else purchased the tickets before we did and then ours were no good because the person or place didn't remove the tickets," said Jen Bakken.
Target Center did some digging of its own and found the customer purchased the tickets on their official ticketing provider, Axs.com. It says that customer then resold the on both StubHub and LocalTicket simultaneously, and once the tickets were sold on StubHub, new barcodes were issued, voiding the original set of tickets. Bakkens' tickets had the original set of barcodes which were no longer valid.
Records show the StubHub customer entered the arena successfully, as they had the only valid set of tickets, and Bryer Bakken went home.
This week LocalTicket.com agreed to refund Bakken, and added extra cash for his disappointment, refunding him $236, which should arrive at his home in a few days. The company told KARE 11 this "double-selling" is a rare instance, and in this case, the ticket supplier takes full responsibility for the error.
"$236 bucks don't pay for a broken heart," replied Bryer Bakken.
Next time WWE comes to town, Jen Bakken says lesson learned. They plan to buy tickets straight from the venue or from Ticketmaster, guaranteeing Bryer a front seat to his dreams. He plans on pursuing a career as a professional wrestler.
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