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'Montana' fans left behind by money-hungry ticket brokers

Maiti Ganey, 7, and her sister, Lilly, 4, love Hannah Montana.

But the Hamburg girls won't be seeing Miley Cyrus' "Best of Both Worlds" show when it hits Rochester in the middle of December.

"They're huge 'Hannah Montana' fans," says their mom, Renee. "They watch it every night. My oldest daughter was Hannah Montana for Halloween, because it's all the rage, even at the younger age levels."

When she heard the tour was stopping in Rochester, Ganey and her husband, Charles, discussed "a family trip to go to Rochester to see the concert," Ganey said.

The Ganey girls have seen a few other preteen idols -- Corbin Bleu of "High School Musical" fame and Drake Bell, and had no problem buying tickets. So when tickets went on sale, Renee Ganey didn't hop online. The next day, she signed on to check -- and found the show sold out, but plenty of tickets offered by brokers. Originally sold at $26 to $56, the tickets were now priced from $250 to $1,000 per ticket.

"We automatically decided that it was definitely not worth that amount of money to go to a concert," said Ganey. "We could have taken the whole family to Disneyworld for $4,000! Even for $1,000, of we had paid $250 per ticket, we could plan a weekend getaway for the four of us to New York City or anywhere else we wanted to go."

Her daughters "were sad and disappointed, but they're so young now that they don't know the full ramifications," said Ganey. "They weren't distraught or tearful, but if they were older, and this was something they really wanted to do, I can see how they would have been more upset."

Because of the national popularity of the show and the outcry over ticket brokers scooping up and reselling tickets, Ticketmaster took one unusual step on some stops of the Hannah Montana tour. For the first 30 minutes of fan club presales and the first 30 minutes of general sales to the public, ticket purchases were restricted to residents of New York State, excluding Manhattan and Long Island. Residency was determined by the billing address of the credit card used to buy tickets. Some other Hannah Montana shows had similar geographic restrictions, but other shows had no restrictions.

"The lesson, I guess, is that there are people in this world who feel financially gaining from these types of things is more important than having kids be happy," said Ganey.


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