Archive for Thursday, February 5, 2009

KU tries new tactics in getting scalpers to stop selling basketball tickets

Selling tickets — any tickets — on state property is illegal

Fans mill about before the game. Selling your tickets on campus property is prohibited, and KU has been cracking down on the practice, even assigning plain-clothes officers to monitor ticket transactions.

Fans mill about before the game. Selling your tickets on campus property is prohibited, and KU has been cracking down on the practice, even assigning plain-clothes officers to monitor ticket transactions.

February 5, 2009


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Robert Miller had an extra ticket.

Saturday afternoon outside Allen Fieldhouse, the Kansas City, Mo., resident hurried around trying to unload the $55 ticket before the Kansas University-Colorado basketball game.

But his plan hit a snag. As Miller was trying to get the attention of other fans outside the entrance to the Booth Family Hall of Athletics, KU Public Safety officers approached him.

They gave him a warning about soliciting the sale of tickets on KU property, which is prohibited.

“You should be able to sell your own ticket,” Miller said.

KU Public Safety officers have embarked on a campaign for four years during football and basketball game days to crack down on selling tickets on state property.

They’ve also taken the operation a step further this basketball season. Before Saturday’s home game against Oklahoma State, people trying to scalp a ticket or fans trying to get rid of an extra one might want to be careful about whom they approach.

It might be a police officer in plain clothing.

In recent weeks outside KU basketball games, officers have given three citations for criminal trespassing to people suspected of scalping tickets.

Capt. Schuyler Bailey said officers tend to be busier during the more high-profile basketball games, especially since Big 12 play started in January. Officers concentrate on educating people first — whether they are frequent scalpers or seem to be fans trying to get rid of one ticket.

“We make contact with people. We notify them of university policy and tell them if you are seen again doing this, you could be subject to an arrest,” Bailey said.

Before the Kansas State University game Jan. 13, a man — whom police said they warned previously — was issued a notice to appear in Lawrence Municipal Court after he solicited game tickets to an undercover officer.

Also, the next week before the Texas A&M; game Jan. 19, officers in plain clothes issued criminal trespassing citations to two men for soliciting the officers for tickets.

One of the men was from Oklahoma and had no ties to Lawrence so he had to post a cash bond, Bailey said.

City Prosecutor Jerry Little said a conviction in these trespassing cases can carry a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to six months in jail. The judge decides the penalty.

The three citations in the last month are probably a little bit higher than what officers normally issue, Bailey said.

“We’re not going to keep warning the same people,” he said.

KU officials began asking public safety officers to crack down on scalpers outside sporting events in 2005.

KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said the athletics department had received complaints before about scalpers approaching fans.

“We’ve gotten fewer complaints from our patrons certainly the last couple of years,” he said.

Officers wait to observe a transaction before they approach someone on the street, Bailey said.

They encounter both frequent ticket scalpers, who are trying to make a buck on ticket transactions, or fans just trying to unload a single ticket.

“It doesn’t matter. You cannot sell anything on university property,” Bailey said.

Officers also hear from people who don’t understand why they can’t just sell a ticket one time, he said. That’s why officers try to make it an educational effort that includes a warning.

Miller, who said he was trying to get rid of one general admission ticket last weekend, said his encounter with law enforcement surprised him.

“I’m not going to buy any season tickets because of the harassment you go through,” he said.


Steve Jacob 9 years, 1 month ago

Just curious, why would it be wrong if a game is a sell-out and someone was trying to get face value for a ticket? Sometimes people do have an extra ticket to get rid of?

deskboy04 9 years, 1 month ago

This is wrong. I can sell my house, car, even the shirt off my back...but I can't sell my ticket to the basketball game? Whatever happened to captialism?

bad_dog 9 years, 1 month ago

bc, I think season ticket holders can do that (sell for face value online) if you're a Williams Fund contributor. They certainly should permit all season ticket holders to sell online if they're going to police on-site sales this strictly.

babyj10 9 years, 1 month ago

thebcman:I know that you are able to do that (sell them back to ticket office) if you have season tickets. And it's very easy online to do this. But I'm not sure about last minute in which people may try to unload their ticket just before the game.

KS 9 years, 1 month ago

Why do I see Lew Perkins finger prints all over this? Go find some criminals to arrest. If you own it and want to sell it, you should have the right. Perkins has to go.

Uhjh 9 years, 1 month ago

Unless this is applied to all resale of tickets like craig's list or ticket stub it is disingenuous

jmadison 9 years, 1 month ago

A free market approach would allow the ticket scalpers to pay a small fee to the university, and then be assigned to an area where all the scalpers would be selling their tickets. Scalpers plying tickets outside this area could be cited. Who knows, maybe some tickets would be sold at below face value.

WHY 9 years, 1 month ago

Just establish an off site location for sales like a corner downtown, then it will be legal and every thing is good.

TecmoSuperBowlChristianOkoye 9 years, 1 month ago

Muggings on Mass Street and a rash of gas station holdups but our public officials would rather focus on people reselling tickets to basketball games. Sounds about right.

maxcrabb 9 years, 1 month ago

This all makes perfect sense. I shouldn't have to explain why.

davidsmom 9 years, 1 month ago

We didn't have season football tickets and decided at the last minute to go to a game. We started driving toward the stadium and there were people on the street with plenty of tickets to sell. We bought a pair for face value. I don't see anything wrong with this.

terrapin2 9 years, 1 month ago

Although I do think they are being a bit insane about this issue, the article doesn't say that you can't sell your tickets! It says that you can't sell your tickets ON STATE (UNIVERSITY) PROPERTY! So all you have to do is go a few blocks away from Allen Field House to leave campus and then make the transaction!

thebigspoon 9 years, 1 month ago

The city can't afford to have school crossing guards but they can waste money on something like this. Which is more important , helping little kids cross the street or making sure that Luck Few doesn't get beat out of any money ????

KU_cynic 9 years, 1 month ago

Press release from KUAC: Jack Boots on Back Order until March 1st.Associate Athletic Director Larry Marchione announced today that the Kansas University Athletic Corporations's order for 50 pairs of black jackboots had been delayed because of production backlogs at the supplier's manufacturing plant. "We had hoped to equip KU security personnel with appropriate jackboots so that they could better enforce KUAC's ban on ticket scalping in a manner consistent with the image Lew Perkins and his administration are trying to establish," said Marchione. "The reinforced truncheons were delivered prior to the start of the Big XII basketball season, but the German manufacturer of the black jackboots had some labor difficulties at its Polish manufacturing site that resulted in some delays in our order. We hope to have the Scalping Security (or S.S.) forces completely outfitted to ensure that they can cleanse our patronage base of scalpers and other undesirables and defectives starting in a couple of weeks. In the meanwhile, we apologize to loyal subjects of der fatherland, uh, I mean Jayhawk nation."

CLARKKENT 9 years, 1 month ago


monkeyspunk 9 years, 1 month ago

Wow, pretty retarded. Peter Griffin retarded.Can they really "arrest" someone for this? Is this really a law somewhere? If they are going to the game, and dumping an extra ticket in the process, is this REALLY criminal trespass? I am no lawyer, but it seems kind of a stretch.The state of Kansas allows the gouging of ticket prices by reseller's in Kansas City, effectively forcing Missouri to repeal their scalping laws last year, yet won't allow someone to sell their extra tickets for face value at the game? I think someone should get on the horn to their local congressmen and find out just how proper this is. This is state property right? Property of a State that allows ticket gouging under the guise of fair market activity. Yeah, this is pretty crappy.

FatTony 9 years, 1 month ago

First off nowhere in this story does it say that the man trying to sell his $55 ticket was trying to do so for $55. It could have been more could have been less, secondly Original Bob, I really don't think the city is wasting money, and it has everything to do with the city. Every ticket written comes with what sounds like pretty hefty fines, much more than say a speeding ticket. It sounds like in a short period of time officers can write 2 tickets which would equal the revenue of 20 speeding tickets, in effect bringing in more revenue to the city, because last I checked KU and the athletic department are not the ones collecting fines in court. So in effect this has everything to do with the city profiting off of KU.

webmocker 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm with the folks who say university property is state property which should be seen as taxpayer property for the purposes of selling tickets to an event on said university/state/taxpayer property. But if the law says otherwise, someone has to care enough to fight it. TANGENTIAL RANT WARNINGAnd one thing I know for sure is I don't care enough. In fact, why even go to a KU basketball game now that they insist on turning the decibel level up to pain even during timeouts when absolutely nothing is going on? The games are interesting enough to generate big sound from the crowd on their own. The gargantuan sound system used indiscriminately is simply excessive, and actually detracts from the excitement of the actual game. IMHO.

TopJayhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

Man, this is insane. I think it is a service to be able to buy tickets to a sold out game.I have been on both sides of the issue. I could not go at the last minute to several football games last yr. (I had season tickets) I was happy to sell them for LESS than face value, just to get some of my money back. I have wanted to buy a ticket to a (always sold out) b-ball game before. I don't even mind paying a small premium. After all, my time is valuable, and I would rather pay someone else to stand in line. I should be able to sell my property for whatever the market will bear. Sometimes it's for more than face value, sometimes less. Gotta go with the KU cynics on this one.

TopJayhawk 9 years, 1 month ago

webmocker....IMHO, the new sound system is great. When they turn up the volume before the game during the very cool highlight reel. It gets the crowd going more than I have ever seen in my thiry + yrs of attending B-ball games in the old barn. I love it.

flux 9 years, 1 month ago

Its a black person thing...........I know I know but its true.

SofaKing 9 years, 1 month ago

Scalping is one of the great things about American capitalism. If I decide at the last minute that I want to attend a game, I can walk down the street and pay the last minute price. The profits can trickle down. KU never wants the profits to trickle down. Greedy bullies, KU sports.

day 9 years, 1 month ago

If you go to a KU football game you will see lots of scalpers... All off campus on the far side of Mississippi street. If they cross the street they will get a ticket. It has been that way for 3 or 4 years.Basketball is different. Allen Fieldhouse isn't located on the edge of campus. Therefore scalpers off campus won't get as much "traffic" because they must be farther away from the action. The scalpers risk the ticket because 19th and Naismith is a better place to sell then 23rd and Naismith.

Kyle Reed 9 years, 1 month ago

Too funny! Out of almost 40 posts about 3 people get the article. The rest need to seriously work on their reading comprehension.

Michael Auchard 9 years, 1 month ago

There goes my scheme to sell Barry Manilow tickets behind Hashinger. Shucks.This is ridiculous, all Manilow references aside. If you have season tickets this year you have to realize that most people are trading tickets. Wonder why all the people around you look different this year? This law doesn't stop anything. In fact, this law is messed up as far as I'm concerned. With ticket prices skyrocketing out of proportion and the economy freebasing into oblivion, many people probably can barely afford to go to every game. Unless you want to see EVEN MORE CORPORATE SELLOUT at the Phog, this legislation looks dumb and painful. Don't force people to sell their season tix.Right, Lew, let them eat cake, too.

flux 9 years, 1 month ago

You must be new to this Akreed. People hardley ever read the articles, they just need a place to vent.

Shardwurm 9 years, 1 month ago

The university is crying about budget crunch but can afford to pay university police to run a ticket-scalping sting operation?Anyone wonder why people are get sick of institutes of higher learning?

Clickker 9 years, 1 month ago

Its simple....all you have to do, is ask the "buyer" if he is a cop. If he says no, then you can sell to him. If he actually was a cop, it is entrapment and illegal.

skinny 9 years, 1 month ago

Clickker, Where did you go to Law School at? TV Hollywood?

tom_bodett 9 years, 1 month ago

Clickker,You've been watching too much law and order. They don't have to tell you they are law enforcement. lol!

flux 9 years, 1 month ago

Yeah Clickker, dumb ass! Ha Ha Ha Ha

d_prowess 9 years, 1 month ago

logicsound, I like where you head is at! Maybe the folks at the Islamic Center need to promote scalping on their corner. Seriously! I don't think it would take very long for everyone to realize this is the place for buying and selling tickets, and everybody is legal!

FatTony 9 years, 1 month ago

LogicSound I don't know about you but I have never "bought" a credit card, I have applied for credit but never have I paid someone for a credit card. So technically speaking credit cards are not being sold on campus.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 1 month ago

The article should have made clear 1) the legal definition of scalping; 2) the face value of the ticket; 3) the asked for sale price. It did not. This may be redundancy, but selling a ticket at face value or below is not scalping BY LAW. Does KU have a law school?

Sharon Aikins 9 years, 1 month ago

We've had friends show up at the last minute for KU football games and buy tickets there from scalpers, usually at below face value. I find nothing wrong with this as anyone has the right to sell their own property for what they can get. KU got what they wanted for these tickets at first sale. Probably even did it at a basketball game or two. We usually just gave our unused season tickets to friends or any one who would take them. But had we chose to sell them, as long as someone was willing to buy, what's the problem.However, having said all that, it must be an enforceable law or ordinance. I don't always like speed limits so does that give me the right to speed? If I rob a bank, is it okay because I needed the money? Until someone changes this, it is illegal, as much as I don't agree with it.

rightthinkertwo 9 years, 1 month ago

It is only wrong because the athletic department does not get a cut from the scalpers sale.

Haiku_Cuckoo 9 years, 1 month ago

“KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said the athletics department had received complaints before about scalpers approaching fans.”Racists.======Yes, because we all know that if rules are being broken somewhere there must be a black person involved, right? Give me a break. This isn't a race issue. If you were trying to sell your car and somebody showed up on your property and tried to sell their own car out of your driveway, you would tell them to take their business elsewhere.

pinebarrens1 9 years, 1 month ago

I love how everyone comments that they think scalping should be illegal because the scalpers mark their tickets up 300%. I pay about half price to every game I go to.

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