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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Another human-rights tragedy

They've come up with a new right in Massachusetts -- the right of a football fan to buy a ticket from the opposing team:

Rhonda Park of Kansas City was one of several football fans around the country who contacted the Globe after it reported on the Chargers' locals-only policy last week. She said teams should be required to sell tickets to fans of the opposing team.

"This is not right," she said of the locals-only policies. "I am a true Kansas City Chiefs fan and if they were to do that I would be ashamed of my team and city."

Even though the Colts are selling tickets to "locals only," you can still get one in the "after-sale market," and it will only cost you from $265 to $2,500. The average price of an after-sale ticket for the Colts-Patriots game is $437, the Boston Globe notes, whereas if the game were in Massachusetts, it would be in the $600-$700 range. That's because Indiana, unlike Massachusetts, has virtually no anti-scalping law, so the workings of the free market keep the price down, an ironclad law of economics they seem to find offensive out east.

I have never understood the contempt some people have for scalping. It represents a free-market economy of the purest sort -- willing participants entering a voluntary contract, one with something to sell, the other wanting to buy it, supply and demand setting the price. I mean, it's not like people are jacking up the price of penicillin for Katrina victims.

On the other hand, I'm also a fan of Big Oil, Big Pharmaceuticals and Wal-Mart, so my view may well be in the minority.

Posted in: Hoosier lore, Sports


brian stouder
Wed, 01/17/2007 - 5:53am

"I have never understood the contempt some people have for scalping":

I agree - as long as the individual original buyer (or scalper/investor) is limited in the number of tix he can buy up.

I suppose the (onerous!) idea of "seat licenses" comes into play here - and makes economic sense. Really, as an Indiana taxpayer, I wonder if Lucas Oil Stadium ought to reserve the right to shift into market-based pricing for ticket selling (aka - large-scale scalping!) whenever they have genuinely 'Hot Tickets' (such as at playoff time).

Governor Mitch is leaving money on the table (which he seems to hate to do!) if he doesn't look into something like this

Bob G.
Wed, 01/17/2007 - 6:39am

I'm with you Leo....I don't think you'll wind up becoming the next Harry Lime.

But there sure are enough out there trying in earnest.


Jeff Pruitt
Wed, 01/17/2007 - 8:36am

My favorite is what the Cubs do. They take all the choice tickets and sell them to a ticket scalping agency that they own. Therefore, those tickets are never available to anyone at the actual retail price...

Steve Towsley
Wed, 01/17/2007 - 7:09pm

Scalping is much closer to greed than free enterprise. One wonders how a thousand Colts playoffs tickets can sell out in just a few minutes at the box office unless the buyers (who could be dollar-an-hour illegals paid to sleep in tents in line to get first dibs, for all we know) were snapping them up in the tens or hundreds, not for themselves but to resell to father-and-son-or-daughter fans, for the extortionist price of a college kid's computer. How many other entrepreneurs lose out because the fans have nothing much left after the price of a seat in the stadium?

I'm not convinced scalping is anywhere close to a victimless crime. I AM convinced it is often a crime.

Steve Towsley
Wed, 01/17/2007 - 7:17pm

Jeff Pruitt wrote:
>...the Cubs...take all the choice tickets
>and sell them to a ticket scalping agency
>that they own...those tickets are never
>available to anyone at the actual retail

Not long ago they'd have been infiltrated, investigated and indicted for racketeering.
But then, loan sharks in the 30s used to go to prison for charging 10+ percent interest...

Bob G.
Thu, 01/18/2007 - 8:18am

And we no longer call them "loan sharks"...we call them CREDIT CARD COMPANIES...!



Steve Towsley
Thu, 01/18/2007 - 6:02pm

Steve said:
>...loan sharks in the 30s used to go to
>prison for charging 10+ percent interest...
B.G. said:
>And we no longer call them "loan sharks"...
>we call them CREDIT CARD COMPANIES...!

B --
Now you're starting to think like me, on the credit card scam.

Find folks who are in deep, and sign them up for 30% interest on lifelong time payments. That's what the loan shark gangsters went to prison for -- only difference these days is we hire collection agencies to hound people into bankruptcy rather than having their legs broken. But only because leg breaking is illegal. Then the banking lobby makes it tougher to declare bankruptcy, and calls it reform.