Indy Code Enforcement warns of counterfeit NCAA tourney tickets


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Thousands of fans will flood downtown Indianapolis Friday and Saturday for the NCAA Regional. Many fans will arrive with tickets, but some are hoping to get lucky.

The Indianapolis Code Enforcement is warning buyers to beware. Come Friday, there will be brokers on every corner enticing fans with tickets and seat upgrades. It would certainly be a shame to fork over $1,000 for a pair of tickets only to realize you still can’t get into the game.

“We ran in to a few counterfeit tickets with the Big Ten a few weeks ago,” said Adam Baker, Communication Director of Indianapolis Code Enforcement.

This is one reason why Michiganders Barbara and Randall Mercer always come prepared.

“We wouldn’t go if we didn’t have our own tickets. I’ve never been a buyer or a seller,” said the Mercers.

They bought their tickets for Friday’s session on Ticketmaster, guaranteeing their spots in the stadium. As Louisville and Kentucky prepare to square off, ticketless game-goers also need to prepare.

“We’ve seen tickets in 500 percent excess of face value already. And those are for seats that aren’t even that good,” said Baker.

Code Enforcement will be working hand in hand with IMPD. They’re encouraging ticket buyers to ask one simple question: “Can I see your credentials?”

“One of the nice things about the credentials is we produce those in house and they’re specific to each event,” said Baker.

Every broker selling tickets above a 15 percent face value mark up within a mile radius of Lucas Oil must be wearing a specific yellow license Friday. There will be extra police on the streets in uniform and undercover to try to protect fans from scams.

“The bottom line is, if you’re trying to do it, you might just be selling to a police officer,” said IMPD Sgt. Kendale Adams.

There are about 20 brokers who have received this credential. If you are nervous to scalp, there’s an easy way to avoid getting ripped off by simply buying through Ticketmaster or a reputable, licensed broker agency.

“If you buy your ticket through a reputable agency, you know you’re good. That’s the only way to do it. Why take a chance?” said the Mercers.

If you just want to unload a ticket, you’re more than welcome to sell it within that mile radius known as the “clean zone” as long as you sell below a 15 percent markup.

If you’re caught selling a counterfeit ticket, or one without a license at a high mark up, all your tickets could be confiscated and you could face up to a $2,500 fine.

All in all, IMPD says historically these events go smoothly, and it should be a great weekend in Indianapolis. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you confirm your email address and acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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