Ticket Scalping: A Victimless Crime?

Ticket Scalping: A Victimless Crime?

By Jeff Howard

I admit it. Many, many years ago I purchased a ticket from

a ticket scalper outside Texas Stadium. If memory serves

correct, I paid $70 for a ticket with a face value around

$15. Like I said it was many, many years ago, and I was

young and naive.

At the time I felt relieved to have a ticket. The game was

a sell out, but as soon as I found my seat, I felt cheated.

Let’s just say it was a very bad seat. One of the worst in

the house to be sure, but still good enough for me to see

the visiting Chicago Bears destroy Dallas 44-0!

My bad experience aside, many fans see scalpers as their

only option for getting into sold out events. At worst

they see ticket scalping as a low-level, victimless crime.

I would suggest, however, that the fact prove otherwise.

Investigative reports around the country have uncovered

highly organized groups of professional ticket scalpers who

control street-level ticket sales in many major league

sports cities. Often these men have ties to organized

crime and lengthy criminal records. As seasoned criminals

they are quick to threaten a customer or turn violent when

a transaction doesn’t go their way.

Certainly not all the scalpers seen hawking tickets

outside your local stadium fall into this category, but

the threat is widespread and very real.

Using various techniques, these groups acquire tickets

from season ticket holders, ticket agencies, and even the

team’s box office. In some cases they work closely with

team employees to ensure a constant supply of tickets.

They also aggressively solicit fans seeking to buy spare

tickets at discounted prices.

Sadly this leaves the typical fan literally on the outside

looking in. Fans who can’t get tickets through the more

traditional channels are forced to deal with these groups

if they want to see a game in person.

As always I recommend you avoid scalpers if at all

possible. I agree there may be certain situations when you

have no choice, but don’t make it a habit. In my opinion

there are just too many risks, and besides you can get

tickets to just about any event without them as long as

you’re prepared to put a little effort into it.

With that said, if you decide to approach one outside the

stadium, please remember who you’re dealing with. This

person might be a convicted drug dealer, thief, or worse a

violent criminal. In addition, he might have ties to

organized crime. Above all use your common sense and

proceed with caution.

I’m sure the majority of fans who purchase tickets from a

scalper don’t suffer from the level of ‘buyer’s remorse’

I felt inside Texas Stadium, and they certainly don’t

experience anything close to assault and battery. However,

threats, intimidation and violence have become a part of

the ticket scalping business in many cities so please be

careful out there.

Copyright 2005 All Rights Reserved


Jeff Howard publishes SportsTicketSecrets Tip Sheet, a

monthly ezine providing tips, news, information, and

advice for all sports fans who are tired of watching the

“BIG” games on TV. To subscribe and receive a preview of

his latest publication “Super Bowl Ticket Secrets” visit



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