For Immediate Release - January 27, 2005

State Consumer Affairs Office Urges Caution In Pats Fans' Search for Super Bowl Tickets

Massachusetts Consumer Affairs Director Beth Lindstrom today urged Patriots fans in search of tickets and travel options for the February 6 th Super Bowl in Jacksonville to proceed with caution. High ticket demand and low availability drives the ticket re-sale market and consumers need to guard against scams and broken promises.

"This is no small purchase and the reality is many fans won't have access to tickets through the teams or the league. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable, licensed ticket broker," said Director Lindstrom. "If you're considering a tour package, verify if game tickets are included. The best-case scenario is having authentic game tickets in hand when you pay. If you're considering buying on-line, there are precautions you need to take," added Lindstrom.

Advice To Consumers

  • Make sure the ticket broker or agency is licensed with the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety at (617) 727-3200.
  • Use a credit card, not cash to pay for tickets or travel packages.
  • Use an escrow account if you buy on-line. This will prevent funds from being released to the seller until the buyer has tickets in hand.
  • Fully understand a company's refund and cancellation policies before you buy.
  • If game tickets are advertised as being included in your travel package, the broker is required to show you either the actual tickets or a written confirmation of how the tickets will be delivered.
  • Federal "Truth in Ticketing" rules also provide for a full refund of the entire package price if your deal was supposed to include a game ticket and you did not receive one.
  • Know that a tour operator may not increase the price of a tour package by more than 10% of the originally quoted price. If they do, you have the right to cancel and receive a full refund.
  • The price of travel packages cannot be increased at all during the last 10 days before the departure of the flight.

Super Bowl Ticket Authenticity

The National Football League is once again implementing a wide-array of ticket safety features to ensure that fans receive authentic Super Bowl tickets. The safety features fans will notice on authentic Super Bowl tickets include:

Ticket Front

  • The image of the Lombardi trophy is sculpt-embossed with a glitter UV coating over the trophy. Ticket Front watermark features 'rays of sun'.
  • Lettering for "Super Bowl XXXIX" is raised.
  • Using thermographic printing, the blue color surrounding the UPC code and NFL logo will disappear when rubbed and gradually reappear.
  • Authentic Super Bowl tickets use safety-center stock. If ripped, the middle of three layers is pink in color.
  • Bar codes along ticket top & bottom.

Ticket Back

  • Is always a shade of brown that the NFL owns (proprietary paper).
  • The NFL logo is imbedded on the back.
  • Holographic sticker is shaped like a football and two-toned gold and silver, a new technology this year making it more difficult to counterfeit.
  • Watermark on Ticket Back features 'bridge and sailboats'.
  • This year Ticket Back features map of entire stadium, as opposed to maps of ONLY your seating section.

For more information about your rights, visit our website www.Mass.Gov/consumer. Consumers with questions should contact the Consumer Affairs Hotline at 1-888-283-3757 or by email at