THE management of Smart-Araneta Coliseum has put under preventive suspension an employee accused of being involved in the scalping of tickets ahead of Game Two of the UAAP men's basketball finals between University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle on Saturday.
In a statement, the Big Dome and TicketNet management said they have suspended the employee seen in a collage of pictures now making the rounds in social networking sites allegedly transacting and handing tickets to a scalper on Thursday afternoon.
At the same time, the Big Dome management said it will ask the police to conduct an investigation into the incident which has since gone viral.
According to a witness, he saw a scalper entering Araneta Coliseum’s ticket booth on Tuesday shortly after Big Dome employees announced to those waiting in line that tickets for Game Two were already soldout.
The witness claimed that the scalper later purchased several tickets from the employee and, upon exiting the ticket booth, immediately offered to sell 25 patron tickets worth P2,500 each to those still waiting in line outside the Araneta Coliseum ticket booths.
“The staff in question has already been placed under preventive suspension pending investigation of this incident,” a part of the statement said.
Araneta management added it has coordinated with Quezon City Police to address the matter.
“We are also working closely with PNP Station 7 Commander S/Supt. Ramon J. Pranada to go after the scalpers and to deploy more operatives in succeeding events at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to intensify the drive against scalping," it added.
“Scalping is a crime in Quezon City and we fully support the drive against it.”
The management also thanked the students for their vigilance in deterring scalping.
With the demands so high in anticipation of an action-packed Game Two and a UST sweep of the championship series, prices for patron tickets have already reached as high as P45,000 in the black market.
[For full story, also see UAAP denounces scalping amid rampant selling of high-priced tickets online]
The entire statement read:
The Smart Araneta Coliseum and TicketNet management would like to thank the students for their vigilance in reporting the alleged scalping incident. We are coordinating with the local authorities in investigating this matter. The staff in question has already been placed under preventive suspension pending investigation of this incident.
We are also working closely with PNP Station 7 Commander S/Supt. Ramon J. Pranada to go after the scalpers and to deploy more operatives in succeeding events at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to intensify the drive against scalping.
Scalping is a crime in Quezon City and we fully support the drive against it.