Student Seats launches at UW to prevent athletic ticket fraud

Program available to UW students for 2022-2023 basketball season

· Nov 29, 2022 Tweet
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Justin Mielke/The Badger Herald

Student Seats, which ensures students can exchange sports tickets without being scammed, is now available for use at the University of Wisconsin for the 2022-2023 basketball season.

Student Seats founders and CEOs Jared Waller and John Ritondo created this escrow service after building the website as a final project for a class they had together at the University of Alabama, they said.

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After gaining recognition at UA among the student body, Student Seats has launched at the University of Wisconsin after seeing a need to prevent frequent scams that occur when students try to buy tickets via Facebook groups or other unofficial sources, Ritondo said. Their growth has been helped by UW junior Charlie Pietz, who put up posters and created social media content for the company.

“We looked on the [UW Buy and Sell] Facebook page and saw tons of people and moderators posting about being wary of scams, so we really saw the need for our kind of service here,” Ritondo said.

To protect buyers’ money, Student Seats works with Trustap, an escrow-style payment app which ensures security, Waller said. Buyers pay through the app, but sellers do not receive the money until they have sent the ticket, ensuring buyers get what they are paying for.

Additionally, Student Seats will ensure prices for tickets don’t vary — they will essentially be priced based on the economic supply and demand for them, Ritondo said. This also protects buyers, as many students buy football tickets with the sole purpose of reselling them at a higher price, leading UW to ban 118 accounts from buying season tickets this year.

Last year, UW made football tickets entirely digital to limit in-person contact, but this also led to increased risk of online scammers, who pretend to have tickets to sell in order to make money.

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These scams led to posts in the UW Badger Student Ticket Exchange Facebook Group providing tips to spot scammers and verify that the tickets being sold are legitimate. These posts, Ritondo said, are what made him and Waller think UW was a good place for them to expand their service.

Student Seats is also available at Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, Purdue University, Indiana State University, the University of Kentucky and Miami State University, according to their website.

Students can register to buy or sell UW athletics tickets using their university emails.


This article was published Nov 29, 2022 at 10:19 pm and last updated Nov 29, 2022 at 10:19 pm


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