Originally created 10/20/06

Counterfeit UGA tickets a problem



Two's company and three's a crowd. But when more than 10 people showed up with tickets for David Alalof's seats at the Georgia/Tennessee game Oct. 7, section 129 row 19 was on the verge of becoming a mob.

Upon closer inspection though, the Martinez season ticket-holder quickly realized that his new buddies were sold some high quality fake tickets for $100 a pop.

"Unless you had them side by side you would not be able to tell," he said. "They were that good."

The fake tickets lacked a perforated edge and the silver embossed logo wasn't raised off the paper, but otherwise they were identical, according to Mr. Alalof.

Only a few years ago, no one reported counterfeit tickets in Athens, but the number of cases has grown to as many as 25 a year, UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson said.

In November 2005, police charged two Atlanta men and a homeless man with forgery after officers found 20 counterfeit tickets for the Georgia-Auburn football game during a traffic stop. Several years ago, athletic officials discovered a massive forgery ring as well, according to UGA Athletic Association spokesman Claude Felton.

Despite the fact that most of the people with counterfeit tickets were Tennessee fans, Mr. Alalof said he and his friends decided to make room.

"Those people felt bad about buying bogus tickets and they were more worried about being put out of the game," he said. "I said, 'Listen, you're in. Be happy and we'll make room for you.'"

Morris News Service reports were used in this article.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.