Scalpers trying to capitalize on Pats playoff success

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After a nail-biting seven-game series, the Regina Pats have moved on to the Western Hockey League's Eastern Conference finals, but at home the team is experiencing some of the pitfalls of popularity.

During their series between the Swift Current Broncos, the Pats sold out Regina's Brandt Centre — but some ticket resellers tried to get a cut of the action.

On April 17, some scalpers had posted tickets for $100. By way of comparison, prices for the April 21 game against the Lethbridge Hurricanes are listed for $20 to $35 on Ticketmaster.

Stacey Cattell, the chief operating officer for the Pats, says the the first two games of the series sold out in around nine minutes.

"It's new for us, and it's great to be popular," said Cattell.

"We did put some caps on what people can purchase this time. Ticketmaster, you can only buy eight tickets, and at Safeway you can only buy four per person. But again … there are people that will work their way away around that," he said.

Despite their best efforts there's very little the team can do to stop scalpers. Cattell says despite the safeguards they've put in place people are still attempting to resell tickets. He advises buyers to be aware and to check whether the ticket price is listed in American dollars.

Despite scalpers, the team is still experiencing a bump in merchandise sales and attendance. Cattell says the team store has run out of jerseys several times this season.

"We're literally scrambling to get more right now," said Cattell.

"Merchandise sales are … almost 50 per cent more than they were last year overall," said Cattell, adding that by the fourth game of the playoffs, the team already surpassed sales from the previous year.