Many McCartney fans feeling short-changed after sellout

First Niagara Center

BUFFALO, N.Y.(WIVB)- Every entrance of the First Niagara Center’s box office are lined with signs that say the Oct. 22 Paul McCartney concert is sold out.

The signs went up less than an hour after the tickets went on sale to the general public.

But some fans told News 4 the way the tickets went just isn’t fair.

Last week, handbills were given out by the First Niagara Center. A handbill doesn’t guarantee you a ticket, but it’s required to get into the box office lobby on the day tickets go on sale.

The handbills are then thrown in a lottery, and a random number is drawn. From there, a line forms within the group the handbill holders, like Noreen Burke.

“I came down here and got the handbill. And I was number 89. You had to be down here by 9 o’clock this morning. And what they do is a lottery. They put all the tickets in it. They picked number 81 and from there on back we got in line,” she said.

Burke scored 4 tickets for $168 each.

Unlike her, dozens of fans lined up outside the First Niagara Center without a handbill, hoping to land tickets.

“We all showed up here thinking that we were two hours early before the box office opens at 10 o’clock, only to come here to find out that 100 people were given handbills and they were the only people that were going to be allowed in,” said Denise Graser.

Graser told News 4 she didn’t know she needed a handbill.

But the First Niagara Center said they’re not throwing any curve balls, and that this concert is just like every other.

The handbill policy is written on the First Niagara Center’s website, and is on every press release they send out.

According to the First Niagara Center’s website, the handbill policy is in place to avoid people camping out to score tickets.

Within minutes of going on sale Monday morning, the tickets were gone: leaving some handbill holders, and every fan outside the ticket office disappointed.

Those who attempted to purchased tickets online had problems too.

Sara Jachimiak of North Tonawanda got online the moment tickets were available.

Entrance of First Niagara Center Box Office
Entrance of First Niagara Center Box Office

“We were told due to high traffic we could get any tickets and then we were just instantly denied because it sold out in one minute,” she told News 4.

Jachimiak is upset, because she said she saw tickets available on places like Stubhub hours before they were supposedly available for pre-sale purchase.

First Niagara’s spokesperson said the only legitimate tickets went on sale Thursday morning for American Express cardholders.

The tickets Jachimiak and other fans saw online were what the spokesperson called “speculative tickets.”

Essentially that means the tickets seen online prior to pre-sale weren’t actually there: third party brokers were selling seats they anticipated having, as a way to jump-start spending.

And while the tickets are gone at the First Niagara Center’s box office, there’s still plenty available on Stubhub.

The problem?

They’re up to 5 times more expensive, some going for several thousand dollars.

“Paul McCartney is somebody who I said I wanted to see in my lifetime, you know. And the chance to see him 20 minutes from my house was so exciting. And you know, now we don’t get that chance because other ticket brokers came in and took all the tickets before other people could get the chance,” Jachimiak said.

The First Niagara Center would not confirm how many tickets they sold, but according to box office staff the Center holds around 14,000 people for a concert.

Click here for latest ticket availability on Stubhub. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you 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. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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