GLENDALE, Ariz. — A Chandler man is speaking out after concert tickets he bought from Ticketmaster were in a section with no seats.
What was supposed to be a night to remember, turned into one, Vincent Picariello and his family now remember for the wrong reasons.
"I'd like to see consumers treated better for one thing," he said.
Picariello bought tickets to the Def Leppard/Mötley Crüe Stadium Tour right before the pandemic. Postponed twice, there was excitement when it was announced the show would be at State Farm Stadium on August 25.
"Both kids love Joan Jett," he said. "I grew up with Joan Jett, so it was pretty exciting for everybody. Our kids are into music, my son is into hard rock."
However, when they got there, they learned they had nowhere to go.
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"It was a disgrace," he recalled. "And a debacle. When we got to our section where the seats were supposed to be, we were looking at an open concrete patch and the attendant said the seats were supposed to be over there, that they don't exist."
The tickets he bought, were for Section 427. But, with no seats, they were sent to a different spot, Section 411.
"And we realized we're looking at the side," he said. "The closed side of the stage. The sound wasn't great, you could only see who was standing at the front of the stage, and the sound is garbled and muffled at that point. I bought the tickets where I did because I learned from other concert experiences you want to be in front of the stage to hear the music the best. If you go higher up, there's a slope so even if people are standing up the kids can see."
Which is when they were then given four handwritten tickets in two separate sections. So, the family split up to watch what was left of the show.
"So that was shocking and disappointing," he said.
Vincent says there were a bunch of others who also had the same problem. He was able to get a full refund, but the whole situation, he says, should've been handled differently.
"When you compare them to other ticket costs, these were like $140 for four people, it's not cheap," he said. "You're paying a good premium price, but not getting premium service."
12News asked both State Farm Stadium and Ticketmaster what happened. State Farm Stadium said in a statement:
"The Def Leppard/Mötley Crüe Stadium Tour was originally scheduled in July 2020. The tour was postponed twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ultimately taking place on August 25th, 2022. The date of the rescheduled show and its proximity to an NFL preseason game on 8/21 required a modification to the seating plan for the show as temporary seating originally planned for the upper seating level was not able to be installed in the limited time available following the pre-season game and prior to the concert. As a result, a limited number of fans with tickets in this area needed to be relocated to other seating locations throughout the stadium."
LiveNation also released a statement:
"The original tickets purchased were relocated to a new section. The new seats were better than the original seats purchased, providing a closer viewpoint. However, the fan opted for a refund and was refunded on September 1, 2022. A small percent of fans had their seats relocated for this show. Those fans were able to request a refund if they preferred."
Picariello though says getting the refund from Ticketmaster was a challenge.
"You go to 'Contact Us,' you go to 'Customer Support,' and they give you a list of questions," he said. "And the questions don't better zero in on the person who can help, they give you some stock answers. And then they have the nerve to say, 'Did that help? Is your problem resolved?' Of course, it's not resolved. And then there's no option beyond that to contact anyone."
He said it took a direct message to the C.O.O. of Ticketmaster to get the ball rolling for a refund.
"It shouldn't take that, you shouldn't have to have the access to tops of an organization to get service," he said.
The concert wasn't a complete loss.
"My son was excited for Mötley Crüe," Picariello said. "We look at the setlist as we're at these things to see if we can duck out early, and there was no chance of that."
But he still says it fell flat of being one night, they feel, should've been great.
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