EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) – A Lane County couple is sharing its frustration over what some people are doing with tickets to an upcoming Dalai Lama lecture in Eugene, reselling the tickets through online scalping websites in order to make big bucks off of the not-for-profit event.
The Dalai Lama will speak at the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene on May 10th, 2013. Now, no more than a day after tickets sold out, several people are selling their passes in the online resale market for much more than their face value.
The University of Oregon sold the Dalai Lama event tickets for just $20 each on Monday, March 11, 2013. Tickets were priced so that the University would raise just enough money to cover the cost of the event. With a low price and high interest, tickets sold out in less than 20 minutes on Monday.
Cathy Coulson-Keegan and her husband Bill Weight were among the hundreds of people who didn't get a tickets to the event even though they tried to right when the sale began. Coulson-Keegan says she and her husband were unable to buy tickets through both the Matthew Knight Arena's box office webpage and ticket sale hotline.
After the ticket letdown, a few hours later Coulson-Keegan found a website that was selling Dalai Lama tickets. Logging on to TicketLiquidator.com, Coulson-Keegan found that several people were selling their event tickets online for between 230 and 280 dollars a seat.
While ticket resale isn't illegal, Coulson-Keegan says she was “shocked, disappointed and miffed” to see people in the Eugene community taking advantage of a spiritual event in order to make money.
“This isn't about a football game, or something that would be really fun to be at, this is something a lot more deep than fun,” said Coulson-Keegan.
“He speaks from his heart, to your heart about how we as human beings can live together,” said Coulson-Keegan.
Several ticket resale website including Ticket Liquidator and StubHub have event tickets for the Dalai Lama's planned Eugene lecture. Coulson-Keegan is urging people to not buy the tickets for more than face value.
"I would love to see that solidarity of saying, "'no, we aren't going to play this game and it isn't fair,'” said Coulson-Keegan.
Alongside Eugene's event, there are Dalai Lama event tickets up for resale in at least five over cities, including Portland, Madison, Wisconson and more. While it's not illegal, Coulson-Keegan disagrees with ticket resale.
“It's very un-Dalai Lama-ish,” said Coulson-Keegan.
A simple Google search for “Dalai Lama ticket scalping” shows many other U.S. communities are dealing with the same issue. However, Eugene's ticket resale prices are some of the highest due to high community interest and the visit being the first time that the Dalai Lama has ever come to Eugene.