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Fans report ticket trouble keeping them out of Elton John concert downtown

The music icon's "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" tour was supposed to stop in Indianapolis in 2019, but was delayed by the singer's illness and the pandemic.

INDIANAPOLIS — Some fans at Gainbridge Fieldhouse say they missed out on a show they waited years to see due to a ticketing issue at the arena.

Elton John took the stage on time Friday night in downtown Indianapolis, but hundreds of fans couldn't get in. They told 13News their tickets scanned as invalid when they approached the gate at the fieldhouse.

Fans said staff members were working to exchange tickets to get those left in the lobby inside to see the show, but the process was slow as the music icon performs his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" show inside.

Many fans have said the ticketing troubles come from renovations that have taken place at Gainbridge Fieldhouse since tickets for the show first went on sale in 2018.

RELATED: Elton John concert at Bankers Life now set for 2022

The concert, originally scheduled for Oct. 25, 2019, was initially moved back one night due to an illness. John postponed the concert again that night, apologizing to fans on social media, saying he was "extremely unwell" and unable to perform.

The concert was then scheduled for March 26, 2020, less than two weeks after the coronavirus pandemic brought entertainment venues - and the rest of the country - to a halt. Initially postponed until 2021, the concert never got a new date before it was moved to Friday night. 

But a lot changed at the arena now formerly known as Bankers Life Fieldhouse since the first tickets were sold to the concert.

Construction crews started a three-phase renovation on the building while fans were kept home due to the pandemic. During the summer of 2020, crews made extensive changes to the seating bowl, including adding new club seats and terraces. 

RELATED: Want to see inside? | Bankers Life Fieldhouse closed for the summer for phase 2 of major renovations

During the summer of 2021, Phase 2 of the project took place, bringing changes to the entry pavilion and mid-level seating and suites. 

One fan told 13News on Twitter her seats were in Section 109, which no longer exists. 

A spokesperson for Pacers Sports & Entertainment told 13News Friday night they expected a high volume of issues with tickets and increased staffing at the box office. Once tickets were resolved, fans were allowed into the concert.

In a statement posted to the Gainbridge Fieldhouse Twitter page, officials noted the changes that were made to the lower bowl and mezzanine levels of the arena and said they reached out to fans in the affected seating areas.

"We regularly communicated with ticket holders, with a focus on those who ere impacted by seat reconfiguration," the tweet read before mentioning the increase in ticket staff at the concert. "We apologize to the fans who were delayed entering the show or had issues with their seats."

Fans who were affected by the ticket changes are being instructed to "reach out to their original point of purchase or the Gainbridge Fieldhouse box office at boxoffice@pacers.com," officials said in the tweet.

13News has also reached out to Ticketmaster and concert promoter AEG for comment on the ticketing situation Friday night, but has yet to receive replies.

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