Time to change the ticket scalping laws

I have a problem with ticket scalpers. No, i don’t want to shut them down. There are times when they do provide value. They bail ticket holders out of events they can’t attend. They also make tickets available to those who really want to attend an event, but have exhausted all other efforts to get tickets.

That’s all well and good, except many ticket scalpers, whether online or brick and mortar, sometimes take a little bit of license when describing where exactly the tickets are in the arena, or what the face value of the tickets are.

Therehave been far too many times when I have gotten emails from upset customer who have purchased tickets onlineor on the phone expecting their “50 dollar tickets” to be 50 dollar tickets. Naive or not, the scalpers have a responsibility to not mislead customers.

I would like to see a requirement that EVERY ticket resale transactionrequire the disclosure of the face value of the ticket to the customer.

If this was something I could enforce through the Mavs, I certainly would. But I can’t. The result is that we have Mavs fans driving in from around the state, credit card already charged from a transaction in previous weeks with a broker, only to find out that they paid 2x and 3x face value when they pick up the tickets. Feeling burned is not the way I want people feeling when they walk into a Mavs game.

It’s something we are working on here at the Mavs, and I urge you to contact your congressperson to ask them to take action as well

62 thoughts on “Time to change the ticket scalping laws

  1. I agree changes are needed. StubHub sold invalid tickets to me recently. Greed.

    Comment by ColoradoJimH -

  2. I work for a broker. Yes- hate me all you want. However, I wonder why fans do not know that they are buying tickets priced above face value when they know that they are buying from a secondary broker. True ticket brokers are usually (and no one should buy a ticket from a company who is not:) registered with the National Association of Ticket Brokers and their city\’s Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Buruea. These companies make it very clear on their website that the tickets are priced higher than the face value. Our company has a disclaimer, and many of the other companies do too. Also- about Ticketmaster and the complaint that they never have tickets available- but all the brokers do….Ticketmaster has it\’s own auction site. Meaning, for the really big shows (and yes- that included Hannah Montana) a fan can sell their ticket back to Ticketmaster- and Ticketmaster auctions it off to the highest bidder. Also, fans complain about not being able to buy tickets because the brokers buy them all up. Most brokers buy tickets the same way fans used to buy tickets-before they realized they could pay someone else to do it. Meaning, brokers have people that they pay to wait in line; brokers call and go online and try to get tickets the second they go on sale, just like everyone else. Yes- there are some concerts when it just doesn\’t seem fair- Hannah Montana, and the Dave Matthews Band, just to name a few. But a show selling out in under ten minutes is nothing new! I remember when I was 14 and wanted to see Jimmy Buffett- and there wasn\’t a big secondary market then- I waited in line overnight, was the third person in line when they went on sale- and when I went to the counter- they were sold out. In under ten minutes. I do understand the frustration of some fans- however, people should be better educated consumers and not buy from a ticketing agency that doesn\’t reveal the face value of the ticket. It\’s a business where the market dominates the prices- just like every other business out there (excluding non-profits).

    Comment by Jennifer -

  3. Buying and selling tickets for any value is not legal in public in the state of Texas.

    Comment by Leda -

  4. I will soon be starting a new website that will do just this, get rid of the scalper! I will set it up to sell the tickets for face value plus documented fees and hopefully it will go over well with folks like us.Hannah Montana tickets are selling for 10 times what the face value is and it sold out 15 shows in about 18 minutes thanks to these low life so called \”resellers.\”My daughter cant even enjoy her favorite show because of this chit.

    Comment by Eddie -

  5. You’re asking people to call their congressperson and complain about this irrelevant so called problem? Last time I checked, we have soldiers in Iraq, Senator John Kerry saying our troops are terrorizing Iraqis, and Howard Dean saying we will never win in Iraq. But arrogant Mark Cuban wants us to contact our politicans about friggin Mavericks tickets.

    Mark, I like a lot of what you do but this is just idiotic.

    Let’s keep government OUT of our lives for a change.

    Comment by brian -

  6. First of all there is a fine line between scalping and brokering. A scalper is someone who is in front of the AAC selling tickets. A broker is someone who has a brick and mortar or online store.

    There is nothing wrong with ticket brokers. Its all supply and demand. Airlines do the same thing, they raise rates around holidays. Ticket brokers raise prices for good games, lower them for bad. The stock market works on the same principle, hotels, car dealerships, everything.

    I admit some brokers do over-extend the truth about seat location, however, their are 95% of brokers who are legitimate resellers.

    Hey Mark, interesting fact.. if you don’t like ticket scalpers then why do the Mavs act just like them? Did you know that with the current “family plan” you are making your season ticket holders in the upper level pay $200 more per ticket than the fly by day, game by game ticket buyer. We are the true fans and we are getting absolutely no benefit. What we get the same seats for every game and playoff rights and that’s why we pay $200 more?? You can buy tickets in the same section and row on Ticketmaster for the season and playoffs.
    When the season started you had 25 games that were family night promotions. This changed a $35 seat to only $24.50 after all ticket master fees. When you calculate the other 20 games at $35 face value your grand total for a 45 game season is $1312.50 per ticket.

    Now take 45 games times season ticket holder price of $33 a ticket and you get $1485 a ticket. It was even worse last year when you had nearly 35 games as $25 a ticket “25th Anniversary Specials”…

    its why many of my co-workers decided to not renew their season tickets and just go game by game and actually go to the brokers for games they couldnt get on ticketmaster, because they actually saved more money going to a broker than being a season ticket holder with the Mavs

    So now this brings me back to a point. Isn’t this brokering of some sort? Ticket brokers do, contrary to belief, sell tickets for bad games under face value. Granted this is for bad games. What makes them any different from the Mavs?

    Additionally, I just love how the luxury suites for a shitty game are $2750 for an 18 person suite, but for the Phoenix Suns game on December 14, I just got quoted $5500.. hate scalpers huh? Who’s scalping there?

    Comment by Joshua -

  7. You might not like it, but it is legal and part of the way our system works. When I purchase an item, I have the choice to sell that item for whatever I want – whether that item is a car, a book, or a ticket to a game.

    If you are going to purchase a ticket from a broker or a scalper, treat it like any other purchase and research the item. There are dishonest people out there who will try to cheat you out of your money.

    Personally, I don’t go to many games. The tickets are more than I am willing to pay – but, that is the way that the system works. When there is a whole lot of demand, the prices of the tickets go up.

    If I buy a box of 100 apples for $10.00 and sell each apple for $1.00 an apple, should I have to tell you what I purchased the box of apples for? Should there be a law telling me that I can not resell the apples – or any other item that I legally purchased?

    Comment by Christopher Parker -

  8. I became a non-supporter of ticket scalping/brokering after buying a counterfeit ticket to the Spurs Finals game this year. Being in San Antonio, I’ve become a big fan of the Spurs Ticket Exchange that allows fans to get tickets from other fans without the worries of getting SCREWED by dishonest brokers. I relize that most of these guys aren’t breaking any laws but as a consumer, I wish that Texas would dump the brokers and stop the gouging.

    My 2cents (or less) worth of commentary. :)

    Later,
    Philip

    Comment by Philip Nelson -

  9. Richard,

    You are a thief, plain and simple. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    Comment by Tony -

  10. These so calle ticket “brokers” are ruining the experience for the fans. It’s a sad day when you can’t get tickets for an event, yet you log on and do a Google search only to find THOUSANDS of tickets available for 4 to 5 times the face value. Ticket scalpers are creating an artificial demand for the tickets by buying up as many as they can get their hands on. Fans are the ones who end up paying in the end. These people are scum and should be stopped.

    Comment by Tony -

  11. I am a Ticket broker and we provide a service for people who don’t have time to wait online or have to go to work. when you call most ticket broker offices have a tape playing that explains that you have reached a ticketbroker and that we are not ticketmaster and that we do charge a service charge. Most brokers also explain that on their websites. I myself, have been selling tickets for over 31 years and am proud of what I do. I take pride in my service and in this business, as it is in almost every busines, its very hard to make all people happy all of the time. But ticketbrokers do make people happy. The only thing you ever hear about is bashing a ticketbroker. Prices keep rising on a ticket, there used to be a day when I would gamble and I do mean gamble and buy 100 tickets at $35 dollars a ticket. But those days are over, big companies like Clear Channel bought up all your local promoters and now that same ticket that I paid $35 dollars for is now $250 I can’t take a risk anymore at those prices less tickets for me to buy and more money for the consumer to pay. Look, its the american way free market.

    Comment by Richard -

  12. Personally, I think all scalping (selling tickets for the purpose of making money) should be illegal.
    You said that “They also make tickets available to those who really want to attend an event, but have exhausted all other efforts to get tickets.”
    If scalpers weren’t buying tickets that they never had any intention of using, then there would be more tickets available for those who really wanted to attend the events.

    Comment by Carl J -

  13. let the buyer beware, right? i’ve bought plenty of tickets off the streets from “brokers” and i always either (a) bring a seating map of the facility with me or (b) ask the guy selling the ticket for a map. seating maps aren’t that hard to find…they’re usually in the local phone book.

    ok, now i can’t resist this one… which do you feel the typical mavs fan is more irritated with as they leave the arena: the nosebleed seat they paid too much for or the over-priced concessions? if your food and souvenir prices are anything like the ones here in indiana for the colts and pacers, i’m guessing more people are mad about the $7 coke than they are the $50 seats…. just a thought…

    Comment by Joe Wikert -

  14. There are sites that fans can legally and safely buy and sell tickets. The most popular one is stubhub.com.
    Mark I agree with some other posters above that you of all people shouldn’t be looking for help from the federal government in the area of ticket sales. Brokers are a part of the sports industry, stubhub and some other companies have created a marketplace for fans to buy tickets, but even that site is filled with postings from brokers. Brokers have advantages in obtaining tickets and some fans love them for it and are willing to pay a premium price for those tickets. It’s the American way, why fight it?

    Comment by Observer -

  15. I recall purchasing some tickets many years back only to find out I got overcharged. Certainly not a fun situation when you spend your savings on a sporting event.

    http://www.webgoonies.com/

    Comment by ThreePts -

  16. I was in line for SIFF, the Seattle International Film Festival, several weeks back to watch a live performance by the kids from “Rock School, and they tore that place apart, at Neumo’s in the University District.

    So, I’m standing there holding an extra ticket, my gal couldn’t attend as she was in cadaver that night, and I overheard this young woman behind me who said that she was a “volunteer” for SIFF and had an extra ticket on hand for helping out with the events. Of course, since Ann Wilson from Heart and Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam were the special guests, I knew Ed was going to be there beforehand though he wasn’t mentioned by name, there were a lot of folks very desperate for an extra ticket. This gal ended up selling her extra ticket, with a face-value of $8.00, for $40.00! That soured me a bit, though the guy shelling out the $40.00 was more than happy to be getting in, so when I got to the front of the line I looked at the most dire face in the ticket-less crowd and drug the happy lady in with me. She asked how much I wanted for it and I just told her “It’s a gift, enjoy the show.” Too bad all scalpers didn’t operate that way huh?

    We all have to make a buck somehow… I even hock some porn ads on my site in order to eat, so I’m certainly no angel, and I never intended on being one anyhow.

    Inkblot

    Comment by Inkblot -

  17. I agree with Mark. It’s hard to judge how valuable a ticket is going to be at gametime. Allow that mini-market to exist outside the buildings. What harm can it do? It’s impossible to measure that harm either way, so we may as well stop policing the issue and allow it to exist without taking any further resources.

    Comment by StockTape -

  18. I agree with Mark. It’s hard to judge how valuable a ticket is going to be at gametime. Allow that mini-market to exist outside the buildings. What harm can it do? It’s impossible to measure that harm either way, so we may as well stop policing the issue and allow it to exist without taking any further resources.

    Comment by StockTape -

  19. Some People just do not buy their tickets on time and would like to go to an event. Brokers are their only source for these tickets. the reason you are so upset is you do not have tickets. Tickets are made available for people like you!even if a Broker did not buy a few tickets the event would be sold out anyway and you would never get a ticket.

    Comment by Bob -

  20. I kinda loathe scalpers. I feel the little service they do provide as noted in the article is far less than the pain they create on the average sports fans. For example, the Cubs ticket lottery (line and online) is composed largely of organized scalpers w/ hired folks to suck up any and all available tickets. So, the fan who wants to buy a ticket is forced to pay a scalper, pardon – broker, a premium for something he/she could have bought for face from the box office.

    That said, I would much rather pay a higher ticket price to the owner, read – you, since you have the financial risks/rewards. So why not put all the tickets up on an auction site and let the market determine their worth. Details would need to be worked out with season tickets. Perhaps a season ticket holder would be required to put any tix they want to sell on the Mav’s ebay auction site??? Some games will go for a ton. Some will go for less. You’d get to choose if you want to auction some, all, or most of the seats for a particular game before the season. It’ll be true open market and the Mavs will get all the money. If you’re doing a good job, it should be more than now. If you’re not doing a good job, you’ll suffer the consequences. The fans will pay you, not someone who provides little value. If I knew I was coming to Dallas one weekend in the winter, I’d be able to go on the site a few weeks before the trip and buy tix or resold season tix based on the market. You’d reap the benefit as I’d probably be paying you over face.

    Comment by HT70 -

  21. If one buys a ticket, one owns the ticket. It becomes the buyer’s property. And, like other property the buyer owns, he should be allowed to sell it. He should tell the truth about the ticket, but he should be allowed to sell it.

    Face value on a ticket is irrelevant. I have never paid face value for a ticket, because the sellers, Ticketmaster, et al, always add surcharges and convenience fees.

    Furthermore, the value of a ticket sold by scalpers is not the face value, but the value is established by the market.

    If the team sucks, there’s not much of a market.

    Disclosure laws would be useless. Who would enforce them?

    Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware.

    Comment by Cranky Greg -

  22. In my opinion the price printed on the ticket is not relevant. Many factors affect ticket value and that value can literally change by the minute. I’ve seen games where if you paid 5X the original ticket price you negotiated well. I’ve also seen occasions where the ticket was sold at 1/2X to avoid a loss.

    All this crying typically comes from the crowd that expects to get something for nothing or wants the deal that is too good to be true.

    I see nothing that needs to be done about this.

    Comment by Scott -

  23. Mark,

    Just read this blog…and you sort of contradict yourself from the MacroVision comments.

    Isn’t your desire to control the quality of your product (i.e. disclosure of the real value of the ticket) the same as content owners who want to protect the quality of their content the same?

    Anytime you would like to go to eBay and purchase a “new” copy of a Disney movie. I bet you half of the product sold as “new” is just a DVD copy of a VHS. So what is the difference, you pay $ 20.00 for a “new” DVD copy of Toy Story and realize you got some Average Joe sitting at his computer ripping new copies for about $ 1.00 in hard costs.

    Hum, sounds like you’ve got the same problem…someone ripping your customer off by selling a nose bleed seat for the price of a corner lower level seat – without disclosing …it really only a $ 10.00 ticket.

    Comment by Barry -

  24. Really, fan education is what needs to happen. By the time I am looking for scalped tix I already know the seat pricing. The prices are very easy to find. Mark, you should just put a page up on the Mavs site that can teach your ticket buyers about knowing the actual seat price. A ‘3rd Party Ticket Reseller Info’ tab, or one that is much better than that since I thought it up in 3 seconds.

    Excellent point again, I appreciate your blog.

    ~the gnat

    Comment by The Gnat -

  25. Really, fan education is what needs to happen. By the time I am looking for scalped tix I already know the seat pricing. The prices are very easy to find. Mark, you should just put a page up on the Mavs site that can teach your ticket buyers about knowing the actual seat price. A ‘3rd Party Ticket Reseller Info’ tab, or one that is much better than that since I thought it up in 3 seconds.

    Excellent point again, I appreciate your blog.

    ~the gnat

    Comment by The Gnat -

  26. Mark is all about using the government to enforce things he likes. Remember his supporting the FCC ruling that mandates that all TVs sold in the U.S. will have to be HD-TVs?

    Typical American businessman. Cry about government when it works against your interests, but run to it for help when it works for you.

    That’s weak for a “self-made” man.

    Comment by Michael Maier -

  27. Great post Mark,

    One thing to also consider is the question, “Does face value include all of the fees associated with the ticket” (a la Ticketcrapster)? You buy tickets to sporting events or concerts paying $45 for your seat, and they end up dropping nearly $20 additionally on your ticket! The few times I’ve purchased tickets, couldn’t go and had to sell them I equated the fees into my sale price which are technically not on the face value of the ticket.

    Maybe the law that brokers should disclose the face value of the ticket should also include a provision that ALL fees are incorporated into the face value prior to ticket sale. That would help me from feeling like I was kicked in the groin every time I go to TicketCrapster!

    Comment by Jeromey Gaudreau -

  28. Technically, Congress would be the only way to change any rules on this, so they have to be on board. I Scalped football tickets in college (GO GATORS!) to pay the rent so I have no gripes with it. I don’t think there should be any rules or regulations against scalping tickets. People would know exactly what they were getting if it wasn’t illegal to tell you that I am selling you a ticket for $200 that I payed $5 for and shame on the person who buys anything from an individual sight unseen. Demand will even everything out. Sure, you will run into the people who will wait in a line to get big game tickets to resell, but that is true for anything. How many times has there been a must have toy that is in short supply that people purchase in bulk with the inentions of reselling them. If someone is willing to give you the money – than more power to you!

    Comment by Dan Carbrey -

  29. Mark,

    I am a first time poster, but have enjoyed reading your blog for a while now. I have to say that I agree with your stance in regards to scalping, but am surprised to see that you implore the readers to contact a congressman to take action when there doesn’t seem to have been any action from the Mavericks on this. Many sports teams now have ticket re-sale services that are available through the team’s website. I haven’t seen anything along these lines made available for Mavericks games. I would point you to the following website that is run by the San Francisco Giants:

    http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/sf/ticketing/doubleplay.jsp

    I have used this service before and thought it was great. I think it benefits both the team management, in allowing for some marginal re-sale fees on tickets sold through the site, as well as helping to fill up seats that may otherwise go empty (the more people at the game the better right?). It is great for fans in that it not only provides access to good seats to games at reasonable (but typically higher than face value) prices, but it also provides season ticket holders an extra value in being able to easily resell tickets to games they don’t plan to attend. Additionally, it does all of the above while also providing both the buyer and the seller the confidence of knowing that these transactions are being conducted through the team, so the sellers know they will get their money and the buyers know they will get the seats they expect.

    I would challenge you to set up something similar for the Mavericks before asking your teams’ fans to lobby legislators to get a solution that would still not be as good as one you could execute yourself.

    I know this doesn’t solve the full range of scalping issues, but by being a high visibility sports franchise owner (as well as one that is perceived to be at the forefront in terms of fan-friendly promotions and marketing), you can certainly help generate momentum towards similar programs at other franchises/venues by trying this here in Dallas.

    Comment by Mike -

  30. It sucks getting ripped off, it sucks when your customers get ripped off but to tie up lawmakers with laws protecting people from every little thing is a waste of time and money.

    Comment by John -

  31. How about all of the people that wait in line overnight for tickets who get screwed by scalpers buying up all the tickets. Shouldn’t die hard fans have a right to buy tickets legitimately? What about the scalpers who sell free charity tickets online? If you think they donate the proceeds to the charity, I’ve got a nice bridge to sell.

    Comment by RJ -

  32. Go ticketless Mark. This you can do through the mavs. Season holders get a credit card that they swipe to enter. They can give it to whoever they want or arrange a gift card for a game or games like you get when you return items to a big retailer. Everyone else gets tickets based on their license…

    Comment by Justin Lippert -

  33. Why not set up a zoned area where ticket scalping is legal outside the arena. Then all the sellers would be grouped together thereby lowering the price as competioin would be greater for the sellers.

    This would also allow for seating charts and even barcode scanners like they use at the door to validate that your not getting screwed by buying counterfit tickets.

    I don’t beleive there is any need for any laws to ban reselling of a ticket for greater than face value. That will just make those who do resell tickets even shadier and the tickets more expensive.

    If there is no economic incentive for someone to sell their tickets to a sold-out must see game then the chancing of actually getting a ticket to the game is greatly reduced.

    As for ticket brokers hording all the tickets so that none are available to the public, I have no problem as long as they were acquired on the open market from other individuals selling their tickets and not directly from the box office. The teams/ticketmaster should do a better job to ensure large chucnks of tickets aren’t ending up in brokers hands directly from the box office.

    Comment by JR -

  34. get a grip. who cares. caveat emptor. maybe this is a way for a team owner to deflect criticism for a lousy season, filled with dashed hopes and a jerk to boot (check out the antics of someone who obviously is lacking, perhaps in some sort of physical attribute, if you catch my drift).

    Comment by brian -

  35. I wonder if it is the brokers responsiblity to make sure that the customer knows the face value? Most brokers that I know of plainly state on web sites or on the phone that people are buying above face value. If a customer really wants to know what the face value is let them go to the mavericks website and look for themselves.

    Comment by Scott Messerle -

  36. This is one of the worst ideas I’ve ever heard (well, maybe just a really bad idea). First, the federal govt should not be legislating on this very low-priority topic. Second, the federal govt should not be in the business of protecting morons from themselves. If you are buying online, you have a myriad of resources to verify the price you are paying. As other pointed out, look at the arena seating chart to find out the price range for the tickets you are buying. Check out ebay to see what similar tickets are going for. Check out other brokers’ sites to see what they have at different prices. And if you are buying in person around the arena, print out a seating chart before you go (it’s what I’ve done for college football and NCAA tourney games) — you’ll be able to see what section the broker’s tix are in. In short, if you are stupid to get fleeced, you are stupid enough to be fleeced.

    That said, the idea about creating an on-line ticket exchange for Mavericks ticket holders is a great one. One important piece is already in place — the ability to transfer tickets online through Mavs.com.

    Comment by Jon -

  37. Mark, how about creating a market place on the Mavs web site. Ticket holders could place their tickets for sale there and it cold also serve those looking for tickets, perhaps score that courtside seat you’ve been coveting but can’t afford for the entire season.

    I think the SF Giants started it some time ago and from what I understand, they’ve been quite successful.

    Comment by Gary Potter -

  38. With the exception of online tickets, most ticket scalpers can be found within 2-3 blocks of the arena. So, put posters up with a seating chart and ticket price info; like the one here: http://www.nba.com/media/mavericks/seatingchart_bw_0506.jpg

    I buy my tickets on ebay when games are sold out, but always check that chart.

    Off topic: why don’t team websites have message boards on them or rss feeds of player transactions?

    Comment by Bryan -

  39. Ticket sales are done all wrong in the U.S. for one main reason: ticket prices are fixed.

    The solution is to offer tickets in an auction-like environment and let supply and demand set ticket prices, not dealers (NBA) or scalpers. Dealers lack the knowledge to set ticket prices accordingly. Attaining this knowledge and accurately pricing tickets would be quite costly. Letting bidders do this work for them is in their best interest (i.e. researching what seats are the best – the four seats at the end of row X tends to get a lot of disruptive foot traffic during Celtics games, but not during Bulls games, hence should cost less during Celtics games (assuming all other variables are static)).

    Scalpers are wasteful middlemen who simply capture the spread between fixed priced tickets and their true intrinsic value; making profit through arbitrage. This spread comes right out of the pockets of the dealers.

    Of course many teams/musicians say it’s unfair to sell tickets in a manner such as this as it’ll make things unaffordable for their fans. I don’t buy this one bit as many fans end up buying through 2nd and 3rd party ticket resellers anyway, and end up paying the same, if not more, than through a 1st party auction environment. Only the lucky few get “cheaper” fixed ticket prices.

    A big question for any ticket driven business like the NBA would be how would auctioned tickets affect revenue in the organization as a whole? If two unpopular teams played together one night, would average ticket prices for that series fall to $0.50 each? Would the net present value of ticket revenue go up or go down? When should ticket auctions end? Perhaps a hybrid of fixed and auctioned tickets would work, but the demand for at least some form of an auction environment is blatantly obvious.

    Comment by Dave Gallagher -

  40. Mark, I’m stunned that you would say to call your congress-critter. Congress isn’t the solution to any problem, you should know that.

    On ticket scalping in general, it’s unadulterated free enterprise, quite simply it’s the American way. If you don’t like the price, don’t buy. If nobody buys the price comes down, supply and demand. If you can’t afford it get a better job.

    On the subject of people not knowing the original ticket price, so what? I don’t know how much the local grocery store pays for a quart of milk and it’s none of my business. The milk is either worth a buck fifty to me or it’s not. If a ticket is worth $50 to someone then they got what paid for at a price they were willing to pay.

    On the issue of seats not being where they are advertised to be, that’s an example of a classic “bait and switch” and is already illegal. It’s the responsibility of the consumer being defrauded to sue the people selling the tickets. If they paid with a credit card there is a paper trail, time to either learn from your mistake or go to court.

    To me complaining that the tickets you bought off “some guy” outside the venue aren’t what you thought they were is like complaining that there is no warranty for a TV you bought off the back of a truck.

    Comment by Gordon -

  41. If the problem is that people know the seat number but dont know the value of the tickets, you could always change the seat numbers to incorperate the value of the tickets. That way any joe schmoe would automatically know his seat is worth $130 since he is sitting in section $130-19.

    Comment by casey -

  42. It’s not tough to tell by the section and row number what the face value of a seat is. As the previous guy mentioned, the seating chart is available on the web. For the last few years, I’ve carried a folded up copy of the seating chart in my wallet for just this reason.

    I think this falls on the customer… ask to see the tickets when you buy them in person since face value is printed on the ticket, after all… and don’t complete a transaction over the phone or online without being given Section/Row/Seat info.

    To me, that’s info you DON’T buy tickets without knowing, for any price. If scalpers find customers who don’t understand that “courtside” can mean terrace level on the top row, so be it.

    Comment by Rhylan -

  43. How about a more detailed seat map on mavs.com so that potential ticket broker customers can do some independent research?

    They can get the section and seat numbers from the ticket broker and cross reference that info to mavs.com

    Comment by chris robbins -

  44. Let me think here. Of all the issues in America to contact my congressperson about, ticket scalping is probably near the bottom of the list. Unfortunately we’ve come to the point where Congress will ignore things like wars, health care and the environment and focus of those great issues like steroids that affect almost every citizen. Is this the best issue you can think of that we should call our congressperson about ?

    Comment by Shake -

  45. I agree with Ryan, post No.1. If I’m buying tickets through a broker or other resale service, I’m gonna wanna know where that seat is. If it says “section 12,” “row 8,” then I need to be able to go to the Mavs website and see exactly where that seat is. That will help me determine whether the ticket is worth the asking price. If the broker won’t say, then I don’t buy. And I don’t buy tickets off the “street” so that’s not a problem for me.

    If I can’t pull strings to get the tickets I want, then I usually don’t go as I agree, why pay $200 for $20 tickets?

    Comment by Dean Tailor -

  46. We live around RFK Stadium the new home of the Washington Nationals and I wish the Nationals would introduce what the Orioles have been doing for over 5 years now. There is a place at Camden Yard where ticket owner can go and sell their tickets, it is gated with an entrance directly to the stadium, as a visitor you can go there and buy tickets, i have encountered only very few scalpers around camned yards, and I have been able to get decent tickets for any game even almost sold old Yankees/Orioles Series.

    I have a beef with organized Ticket resellers and scalpers because i don’t see it like you mark that they give me a chance to get a ticket that I might not get otherwise, I make them responsible for getting the tickets of the market by buying large blocks of tickets and the reselling them at hugely marked up prices. I can understand that the team and stadium owners don’t really care about who they sell their tickets too but personally I object to having to pay these prices and rather not go.

    Comment by Harald Scheirich -

  47. I buy and sell for a few events on site. Do we have the green light now? People think its a dirty practice and jive its not. I have the best time getting in peoples way asking for “gotta an extra ticket??” Its fun and I meet lots of people. THe market will be set on what the market sets.
    Andrew

    http://www.exit50.com

    Comment by Andrew -

  48. I’m not here to blast you Mark, but to get you to think… What is philosophically different about you as owner of the Mavs, wanting some legal control over resale of tickets than the record label not wanting their music on Grokster? Or a software developer not wanting its commercial offerings on a warez site? They are all questions of intellectual property, licenses, etc. When you sell a ticket, you sell a license to use a seat at a particular game. It has certain conditions associated with it, like don’t resell for higher than face value, don’t throw beer at Ron Artest, etc.

    And now, you seem to want federal help enforcing your license. You know, I’d be all for the courts allowing you to sue the pants of brokers who disrupt your business, as you have described. We don’t need an FBI investigation. Just take them to court. Perhaps sue some patrons who scalp their tickets or purchase scalped tickets. Maybe lock down the prime sections and seats, require that those tix be resold on your own ticket recycling system, make a few undercover purchases a game, and just sue, sue, sue. I’m sure the fans will appreciate your efforts to keep tickets affordable and available. And I’m not being sarcastic. Hell, nobody I know can afford to go to a Clipper game anymore, let alone the 2nd best team in LA, the Lakers!

    But at the same time, consider supporting other IP owners as well. When a business like Grokster is making its money proportionally to widespread, uncontrollable infringement it promotes, stand back and let them be sued out of existence. That’s all.

    Comment by Brad Hutchings -

  49. I was recently looking online on texas tickets for concert tickets. As far as I know scalping is illegal. When I went to the website they had tickets for 4 times the face value. I can understand how scalpers get away with it, but how can a legitimate business get away with this?

    Comment by Matt -

  50. I’m open to all market based solutions. The one thing we surely do not need though is any form of government regulation. Happy Independence Day everyone!

    Comment by Andy Nardone -

  51. Mark,
    I would definatly have to agree with you,I would also like to see that every ticket resale trasaction require the disclosure of the face value of the ticket to the customer.I also think that Paul Varty,NO.5,doesn’t have a clue about what he is talking about If enough people call their congressperson than they will realize that the problem has a big affect on the community.Politicians may make the problem worse or create bigger problems but when was the last time you complained to your politician.

    DON’T listen to Paul Varty, he doesn’t know what he is talking about! (!!!!!GO RAMS!!!!!)

    Comment by Dustin Hauseman -

  52. Interesting take on it, and i would completely agree with that logic. Maybe also a limit on CC#’s for a weeks time? Say four tix per week per CC for all events at said venue. I dislike it when tickets go on sale i miss out working, but ebay has TONS for double price. If you could limit tickets sales for venue: games, concerts, events, etc…. This way scalpers can not corner the market on every event that’s popular.

    Comment by jim -

  53. Oh yes Mark,
    Lets all call our congressperson up right now.
    This is one dumb idea. When was the last time your congressperson did what you asked them to do in just the way you envisioned the solution? Never! Politicians will only make the problem worse OR create new and bigger problems.
    Now if you are sincere about caring for Maverick fans how about creating an E-Bay-like on-line ticket exchange for Mavericks ticket holders. In fact it wouldn’t need to be run just for the Mavs but for the whole NBA.

    Please don’t ask for help from politicians. You know better.

    Comment by Paul Varty -

  54. I have to agree with that, there has been to many times that people have ripped people off and there needs to be a change, people need to be smarter and to not buy from unknown sorces unless it is certain that they are geting what they are paying for.

    Comment by Miles Cunningham -

  55. on the whole, i would have to agree with you, mark — it would be fair to everyone to make ticket scalping more of a true “resale” business which offers protection for both buyer and seller.

    that said, though, i have to believe that anyone who believes they are paying anywhere near face value for tickets from a broker doesn’t understand the laws of supply and demand very well. ;)

    Comment by eburke -

  56. I would defintly have to agree Mark, I think that with a new way to let people understand what the expected value should be at will help many realize if they are getting ripped off or being way overpriced. You could also promote certain sites that can help regulate and inform. I will defintly be interested in what you and the Mavs can come up with but scalping seemingly will always be around, which in certain times is perfectly fine.

    Comment by Aaron Mackey -

  57. How about letting people know the face value of any particular seat? Just some database that can give you the face value of you enter the seat you want to buy.

    Comment by Ryan Keppel -

  58. I can see the purpose in the “resale market”, helping to unload unwanted tickets and sell to those who really want – but I have a MAJOR problem with relellers buying up Every ticket for an event. I haven’t been to a concert for years, but recall picking up tickets for The Cure and others from the box office the day of a concert. Now I’ve just tried to get “Cheetah Girls” tickets to take my girls to their first concert, and the damned things are sold out an hour after they went onsale! “Ticket Master” has NOTHING, but every online ticket resaler has hundreds of them – for sale from $70 to over $250! They were $30 – $40 tickets! This is criminal and MUST change! Now honest working people can’t afford to go to concerts and some jerk from “Tickets Now” or “Stub Hub” is making himself fat off hard working peoples money because they go in a buy all the tickets beofre they’re available to REAL people! How can this stop?? I’m not buying from those a-holes!

    Comment by Meg -

  59. I don’t beleive there is any need for any laws to ban reselling of a ticket for greater than face value. That will just make those who do resell tickets even shadier and the tickets more expensive.

    Comment by runescape money -

  60. I would challenge you to set up something similar for the Mavericks before asking your teams’ fans to lobby legislators to get a solution that would still not be as good as one you could execute yourself.

    Comment by wow powerleveling -

  61. As far as I know, ticket scalping is perfecly legal in Teaxs and about 35 or 40 other states. I don’t see the problem. If I buy a ticket, it’s MINE. Supply and demand. Louisiana is one of these states that believes only promoters should make money.

    Comment by Ech -

  62. Paul varty is gay and he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    Comment by Dane Lynch -

Comments are closed.