011313 ATLANTA : Falcons running back Michael Turner runs through the Seahawks defense for a long first down run on the games opening drive in their NFL divisional playoff game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM
When tickets for the NFC championship game went on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Monday, Kevin Mendel of Buckhead was online.
"I was able to grab upper level seats, extra upper level seats and that's all I could get within a minute," Mendel told Channel 2's Shae Rozzi. "If you weren't on (the website) within a minute, they were gone."
Kevin and his father, Hal Mendel, are professional ticket brokers and run the company Dabble Entertainment.
The lower-priced tickets they got Monday are in addition to a variety of seats they already have.
"I've seen tickets already sell for the 50-yard line. Verizon club tickets sold up to $2,500."
When Rozzi looked for tickets on the TicketMaster website and searched for two tickets, she couldn't find any two seats together.
Only single seats were available through Monday afternoon.
A spokesperson for the Atlanta Falcons told Rozzi that the tickets essentially sold out within minutes of the public sale.
He explained that season ticket holders had two opportunities to buy additional seats before the public sale grabbing nearly all 72,000 tickets.
The Falcons representative and a spokesperson for TicketMaster told Rozzi that the only safe place for fans to buy resale tickets are from the NFL Ticket Exchange website.
The site allows fans to sell tickets to buyers who then get their tickets verified by TicketMaster and the NFL.
After the purchase, the tickets are reissued in the buyer's name.
Kevin and Hal Mendel showed Rozzi several tickets that they're selling now through websites like StubHub and Craigslist.
They pointed out that legitimate tickets have a hologram NFC championship logo with raised lettering.
They shared other tips too to keep fans from ending up with fake tickets.
"You want to go someplace safe," Hal Mendel told Rozzi. "Go to a bank where there are photographs being taken, ask for an ID. If someone won't show you their driver's license, take a picture of their tag. If there's any resistance at all, common sense tells you it's not right."
The Mendel father-son duo say they want to help fans to not get ripped off.
They're long-time Falcons fans themselves and Kevin Mendel said he knows what a big deal it is for the city of Atlanta to host the NFC championship game for the first time.
"This is a very rare event. This is the only time in 47 years the Falcons have hosted a championship game. The winner of this game goes to the Super Bowl," Kevin Mendel said.