Turner Ticket Tale

A couple bought two tickets through TicketExchange to see Tina Turner near Chicago Oct. 6 but the whole thing turned into one big kerfuffle.

Judy and Michael Sidell bought their seats for $631.06 total through the Ticketmaster secondary ticketing branch and were content because the seats at Rosemont’s Allstate Arena were close to the stage, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Judy Sidell said she called TicketExchange and told the agent that her husband was visually impaired and could not navigate steps. The agent allegedly told her the pricey tickets were close enough to reach out and touch Turner and were accessible without stairs.

When the couple arrived at the show, ushers allegedly told them the elevator and ramp were off limits, and Michael Sidell would have to walk down about 20 steps. Arena spokesman Phil Chihoski told Pollstar there is no elevator to the floor.

Michael Sidell, 66, told the ushers he couldn’t walk the 20 steps. He explained to the Tribune that his vision problem relates to a degenerative brain condition that affects his depth perception, making stairs difficult.

The ushers offered to have paramedics carry him in a wheelchair to his seats but the lights had dimmed and the Sidells worried the paramedics might drop him. They were directed to seats on the opposite end where Michael claimed he couldn’t see the stage.

The couple reportedly called TicketExchange and Judy said a manager promised to look into the matter. She called two more times without a response, she said.

That’s when the Chicago paper’s troubleshooter section, “What’s Your Problem?” got involved.

“It was totally misrepresented to us,” Judy told the paper. “They didn’t listen. They were just out to sell tickets.”

TM spokesman Albert Lopez looked into the matter and told the paper there would be no refund. The couple did not ask for seats that were accessible without stairs and had refused help to be carried to the seats.

Lopez said the company stood by the accuracy of the order and offered the Sidells a $25 gift certificate, according to the paper. Judy Sidell called it insulting and refused.

Lopez told Pollstar there will soon be an update to the situation and “it will end well.”

Meanwhile, Chihoski told Pollstar he gave the couple the option to free tickets to some upcoming shows. They picked seats (they could walk to) for the Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker” Dec. 14. at the Rosemont Theatre.

“It’s great,” Michael Sidell told the Tribune. “It’s a nice gesture.”