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Ticket Scalpers: Opportunistic Vultures or Invaluable Time Brokers?

September 6, 2007

As great as Boston’s Fenway Park is, its small size presents some problems.  A couple weeks ago, my family and I made yet another pilgrimage to Fenway, the New England  sanctuary that seats just under 37,000 people.  The limited ticket supply, coupled with a now-global “Red Sox Nation” and a resonably successful team, has made getting a ticket to Fenway become a hard task.  Unfortunately, Fenway is now flooded with bandwagon fans who happen to have the financial backing necessary to get in on a regular basis.

We left Watertown (NY) at 4 am in hopes of getting to the “day of game” ticket window before the 1:00 game.  Before each game, a line forms, and those who show up early get tickets.  Before the game, a small selection of tickets (usually excess seats from season ticket holders) are made available.  Those who miss the line don’t get face value tickets, and they are forced to test the open market (i.e. buy from scalpers).

I am torn about whether to consider sclapers as opportunistic vultures or as invaluable time brokers.  In our case, we wouldn’t have seen a game had scalpers not procured tickets for us.  However, we also were forced to pay $60 per seat for standing room only (3 times face value).  Even so, the experience was worth it.

But this doesn’t solve the dilemma.  Opportunistic Vultures or Invaluable Time Brokers?  It depends on how big the game is.


From → Capitalism, Sports

  1. Phil permalink

    And Phil’s economic professor says…

    No one forced you to buy the tickets. You valued them more than the money.

  2. Ian Gilbert permalink

    Invaluable Time Brokers? Cui bono?

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