How's this for a Catch-22: if you want to sell your Denver Broncos season tickets, you're encouraged to sell through the Broncos Ticket Exchange, and as we found out this year, if you used the system to sell your tickets to all the games this past season, the Broncos know you never sat in your seat, and just revoked your season tickets.
"We did get a letter over the weekend, my husband did, saying that our Broncos tickets had been taken away," said former season ticket holder Susie Brinck. "I was horrified. We've had these tickets since the 60s. We've gone to the games since then. I used to go with my dad, they were my dad's tickets."
Health problems got the best of Brinck, and perhaps the same could be said for the Broncos in 2016.
"I've had a couple hip replacements and a pending knee surgery that I wasn't able to go the games. My husband didn't want to go without me because he knew I loved the games," said Brinck. "I really was uncomfortable going up and down the stairs, it's very hard for me."
Her kids would have gone, but she said one is on the Western Slope and the other in San Francisco.
Their seats are…or were in the seventh row of the southeast stands, around the 25-yard-line.
"They're really decent seats," said Brinck. "If they sell our tickets, I'll be very upset."
Her story is like other season ticket holders who have reached out to Next; fans who sold all their games on the Broncos Ticket Exchange website.
"I guess they checked our account to see how many tickets we had sold, which I didn't think was any of their business because they're our tickets," said Brinck. "We, I do not believe, have any paperwork that says we can and cannot sell tickets. They've always said if you cannot go, please sell your tickets through this site."
The Broncos have participated in the Ticket Exchange, an NFL Ticketmaster, since 2006. Season ticket holders can post their seats for sale, at whatever price they choose. Once they're sold, the buyer is charged the price plus a commission. The season ticket holder's account is credited the sale amount and the Ticket Exchange pockets 10 to 15 percent.
"The Broncos are also making money off of the tickets that we sell, that are ours," said Brinck. "Doesn't sit well. It's not fair. If they look back at our track history since the 60s, they can see we've gone to all the games. They can see that we've been there through thick and thin. I've gone there through snowstorms, rain, sat and got sunburned."
Theoretically, if Brinck had sold her tickets on Craigslist or to her neighbor, the Broncos never would have known they never went to one game. Then again, if you don't sell on the Ticket Exchange, and the person in your seat causes problems, the season ticket holder runs the risk of losing their seats.
The Broncos told Next that they don't know how many tickets haven't been renewed yet. There are expected to be several hundred non-renewals, which would make season tickets available to new people. The team will review valid reasons from season ticket holders, like Brink, who'd like to object to the decision.