Imagine your excitement: Spring training tickets in hand, ready to attend a Cactus League game with your family and friends to cheer on your favorite team — only to discover the tickets you purchased from a third-party vendor aren’t legit. 

“Issues with third-party ticketing websites have been widely reported in the media,” explains Bridget Binsbacher, Cactus League executive director. “The market can be confusing for many fans and customer service for some third-party sites may be unreliable. We don’t want fans to be disappointed.”

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Research confirms Binsbacher’s assertion regarding third-party ticket scams. In fact, a recent article published by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) revealed that last year upwards of 140 reports were made related to sporting event, concert, theater and other venue ticket scams. 

Bridget Binsbacher, Cactus League executive director.

Sadly, ticket scammers — similar to many other hacking and cyber tricksters — have become quite adept at making transactions appear legitimate when they are anything but. For example, a ticket-selling website might so closely resemble the same name of the sporting venue or organization from which you want to purchase tickets, but upon closer inspection has a slight difference in spelling or logo. 

Another major telltale sign of a web scam is a missing “lock” icon to the left of the search browser. Scammers use these techniques and others to secure consumer credit card numbers. Unfortunately, the recipients of scams not only end up without a real ticket, but often also become victims of a longer-term fraud situation. 

“Six out of 10 Cactus League attendees come from out of state,” Binsbacher says, “so it’s wise for those fans to ensure that they have their tickets before beginning their trip. Typically, the heaviest demand for spring training tickets is in mid-March, when many school districts around the country are on spring break.”

To help prepare for this year’s Spring Training events and avoid ticket scams, Binsbacher advises fans to go straight to the source:

On the official Cactus League website, not only are fans ensured they’ll purchase tickets safely and reliably, but there is also a directory of direct links to the ticketing site of each of the Cactus League’s 10 facilities. There is also a QR code for the 2023 schedule and a ballpark map.

“By purchasing spring training tickets directly from Cactus League facilities, baseball fans can rest assured that they are buying legitimate tickets for the games they desire,” Binsbacher says, “​​and that the delivery of those tickets will be seamless and efficient. In addition, the facilities have support staff available to help ticket buyers if they have questions or if any issues arise during the purchase process.”

The 2023 Cactus League season opens on Friday, February 24 and runs through Tuesday, March 28. Binsbacher urges local fans to consider attending games during the first two weeks of the season, before out-of-state demand peaks. “Tickets are available,” she says, “and it’s the best time of year in Arizona.”