Singer Miley Cyrus announced that her upcoming tour will be paperless, meaning that Ticketmaster will only offer e-tickets in an attempt to thwart ticket scalpers. Other anti-scalping technologies will be implemented at each venue as well.
My experience has taught me that there are two kinds of ticket scalpers.
There is the guy whose wife’s cousin couldn’t go to the game, so he is stuck with an extra ticket. He is wearing khaki shorts with his polo shirt neatly tucked in. Footwear consists of penny loafers and no socks.
He tells everyone else in his party to go ahead into the stadium and he will sell the ticket. His wife will think he is such a sweet guy. The reality is he doesn’t want her to witness the pathetic display that is about to happen.
He holds the ticket up in the air, but does not say anything. Scared out of his mind, he will sell the ticket to the first person who approaches him. The guy walks away feeling like a rebel, a bad-boy. The misses will have his wine cooler ready when he meets her at the stadium bar.
The “professional” ticket scalpers are the guys you see with a sign in one hand and 50 tickets in the other. On the back of their sign will be a seating chart. This is to show you how great the seats are.
If they do not have anything that you want, their buddy down the block will certainly have your perfect seat. He will walk you down the street to another guy with a crooked baseball hat and clothes big enough for an elephant.
They also know where all ATM machines in the area are located.
Is this American capitalism at its finest? Or is this the way that many fans get screwed out of going to games?
If someone in your party is unable to attend a game at the last minute, shouldn’t you be able to sell that ticket? However, should a ticket broker be allowed to buy up hundreds of tickets just to walk down the street and double the price for a family to see a ballgame?
Maybe Ticketmaster and Miley Cyrus are on to something. But how do you manage it? How do you monitor the situation without checking each person’s identification as they enter the venue?
I really don’t have an answer. I believe in the free market. I also believe that kids should be able to see their favorite singer or sports team even if their parents don’t have six figures in the bank.