Still Standing in Line?

From Ken Hoffman’s Q&A Sunday column in this morning’s Chron (Hoffman’s reply in plain text — ed.):

I stood in line (eighth person) at the Fiesta on Fannin to get tickets to celebrate Hannah Montana’s birthday at the Hannah Montana show. It took me 45 minutes to get to the window. I was told that only single tickets were left. The first person in line was recognized to be a scalper. He took 20 minutes to buy tickets with a big wad of cash. Ticketmaster needs to pull the plug on these guys. Don’t they know it is illegal? I refuse to pay big bucks for tickets that I should have been able to buy myself. How can we teach our kids to be reasonable consumers and still enjoy shows when this is allowed to go on? I’m ticked.

Jane Cominsky, Houston

We have been trying for 12 years to buy tickets to a George Strait performance at the rodeo. We have gone early to stand in line and have called as soon as we could. Is it impossible or is there something else I can try? Would appreciate your advice.

Susanne Miller, Houston

Any time you’re dealing with George Strait at the rodeo, it’s a crapshoot. You might as well buy a lottery ticket. There are tens of thousands of tickets left for other country stars, though. Scalping tickets is not illegal in Texas.

Hoffman’s certainly right about George at the rodeo being a crapshoot…actually, you could probably say that about a George Strait show just about anywhere in this part of the country. I snagged a ticket for the Jan. 11 show at the Cajundome in Lafayette (and it was GREAT!), but that particular engagement sold out in 15 minutes, according to the Lafayette newspaper. Long ago I gave up on standing in line, though; since I got my high-speed Internet connection, it’s just a whole lot easier to go to the Ticketmaster website and go from there. Had I stood in line at any of the local Ticketmaster outlets for Lafayette, I am certain I’d have been up the creek. And the same goes for George’s show at the Houston rodeo; even via ticketmaster.com, I managed to get just two upper-level seats, somewhere in the fourth level, I think — and it took me about 20 minutes to get those. I’m happy just to be there, though; that just goes to show how popular the Strait man still is here. It surprises me that there are still those who haven’t figured out that the Internet is probably the best way to get tickets for high-demand shows like this now. I’d still go to the Macy’s or wherever else the local outlets are, but only if I absolutely had to.

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