Archive for Friday, December 10, 2004

KU quashes ticket sales outside fieldhouse

Enforcement of existing policy prohibits scalpers on campus

December 10, 2004


There soon will be fewer ticket scalpers outside Allen Fieldhouse.

"There's a university policy against selling anything on campus without a license to sell it," said Jim Marchiony, an associate athletic director at Kansas University.

So department officials have started asking scalpers to move their operations off campus.

"I'm sure some are still there, but a more concerted effort has begun, and it will continue," Marchiony said.

The crackdown, he said, is not aimed at fans trying to sell one or two extra tickets, but rather at vendors buying and selling dozens of tickets.

"This is a university policy, not an athletic department policy," Marchiony said, noting that scalping tickets in an off-campus setting is legal.

He also denied recent reports the athletic department was looking at ways to stop fans from selling extra tickets through brokers or online auctions, or to punish ticket holders who do so.

"That's going to happen, we don't have a problem with that," he said of ticket scalping, which is legal in Kansas. "But it would become an issue if it were on a grander scale -- if someone bought a season ticket with the intent of turning around and selling it for a profit."

It is the athletic department's belief, Marchiony said, that donors to the Williams Fund, which helps pay for the university's athletic scholarships, should have first shot at getting season tickets and not be subject to third-party profit-taking.

"We'd rather see tickets go to someone who wants to go to the games," he said. "To us, financially, it doesn't matter. The ticket's already been sold. Our concern is for the fan."

Marchiony said the department has been monitoring KU ticket sales on the online auction site eBay.

"It's just good policy to know what's going on with your tickets," he said.

Asked if the department had bought tickets on eBay in an effort to identify or punish their sellers, Marchiony replied: "No, we haven't."

Historically, the athletic department has encouraged season ticket holders to return tickets they won't be able to use to the central ticket office, where they'll be resold at face value.

"They'll be given a donation credit slip," Marchiony said.

Earlier this week, the University Daily Kansan reported the athletic department was looking at ways to withhold season tickets from faculty members caught re-selling them for profit.

Joe Sicilian, chairman of the University Senate Executive Committee, said he heard rumors that faculty members could lose their tickets if they were caught profiting from their ability to buy season tickets at a 20 percent discount.

"I've heard that," Sicilian said. "But there's not been anything in an official capacity. It's not come up in SenEx."

Marchiony said the athletic department had no plans to go after faculty members who sell their tickets.

"At some point, that might become a concern," he said. "But at this point, it's not. To be honest with you, this isn't something we've spent a whole lot of time talking about."

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