INDIANAPOLIS — Renovations at Gainbridge Fieldhouse left some Elton John fans still standing even as the show began Friday night.
Several calls came in to FOX59 from fans who said they had waited for at least an hour to get into the show after its scheduled start time of 8 p.m.
“It’s too late now, my husband is still in line, we’re still waiting. We’ve been here since 7:30 p.m., had reservations at 6 p.m., so we’ve done everything right. And it’s now 9:30 p.m.,” said Stacey Johnson. “By the time we get to our balcony seats, which we didn’t pay for, we paid for floor, he’ll be over with, it won’t be worth our time.”
Pacers Sports & Entertainment said that renovations and changes at Gainbridge Fieldhouse since the tickets originally went on sale caused seating to change.
“Since going on sale in 2018, due to Fieldhouse of the Future renovations, the lower bowl and mezzanine levels have been reconfigured,” said Danny Lopez with Pacers Sports & Entertainment in a released statement.
The Elton John concert, which is part of his final tour, was originally scheduled for October of 2019. However, it was rescheduled to 2020 due to Elton John falling ill. The concert was then rescheduled two more times due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“So, we stood in line at the box office for an hour. Got to the box office window, they printed out tickets for our seats, got in line to get in and those tickets weren’t working either because the section is no longer available, it’s under reconstruction,” said Cheryl Enfield, who drove in from Elkhart, Indiana. “Then the option was after waiting in another line, was to take whatever price you paid for your ticket and take a crappy balcony seat or go back to the person you purchased your tickets from and get a refund. Which with Ticketmaster is 30 days.”
Lopez added that they had regularly communicated with ticket holders. They also brought in additional staff in expectation of issues and doors opened earlier than normal.
Many fans expressed their disappointment over the ticket situation. With some feeling it likely they would not get to see Elton John perform at all.
“We’ve been denied three years, we’ve been waiting for this, especially after COVID, we could not wait for Elton John,” said Johnson. “This is a huge disappointment, I doubt he’s going to come back again since this is his farewell tour.”
“I don’t know who’s accountable, it’s either Gainbridge because they are the ones that changed the seating chart. Or it’s Vivid Seats for their commitment, because we paid them for the tickets,” Johnson added.
The full statement from Lopez stated:
This show was originally scheduled for 2019 and has been rescheduled three times. Since going on sale in 2018, due to Fieldhouse of the Future renovations, the lower bowl and mezzanine levels have been reconfigured. We have regularly communicated with ticket holders, with a focus on those who were impacted by seat reconfiguration, and we have brought additional staffing to the box office and in our Guest Services in anticipation of a high volume of issues. While we did all we could to anticipate and address the issues that arose on show night, we apologize to the fans who were delayed entering the show.Danny Lopez, Pacers Sports & Entertainment