Sunday, July 29, 2012

More Ticket Scalping = Fewer Empty Seats?

From a recent news report

"London's Metropolitan police said they had arrested 16 people since Friday for illegal reselling of Olympics tickets, as Games organizers said they were investigating why scores of seats were empty at some events yesterday."

MP: Well maybe if the London police weren't arresting people and restricting ticket sales in the secondary market, perhaps there wouldn't be so many empty seats? 

17 Comments:

At 7/30/2012 2:35 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

That's hilarious. Apparently none of those "games organizers" ever think to step back and view those two phenomena together.

 
At 7/30/2012 4:03 AM, Blogger randian said...

Perhaps the obvious reason, that seats are empty because the tickets were too expensive, should occur to these dolts.

 
At 7/30/2012 6:40 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

If tickets were too expensive, there would be no market for scalpers

 
At 7/30/2012 12:50 PM, Blogger randian said...

If tickets were too expensive, there would be no market for scalpers
People who can't attend an event for whatever reason don't want a total loss on their ticket, making a market for scalpers.

That said, I'm sticking with "too expensive", because I do not buy the police premise that scalpers are at fault for low turnouts.

 
At 7/30/2012 12:57 PM, Blogger Scott Drum said...

These are probably the same people who institute minimum wage laws, then investigate why there aren't more jobs for low skill workers.

 
At 7/30/2012 12:58 PM, Blogger Scott Drum said...

These are probably the same people who institute minimum wage laws, then investigate why there aren't more jobs for low skill workers.

 
At 7/30/2012 2:04 PM, Blogger Mike said...

randian,

The term "scalping" means selling an event ticket for more than face value....so I don't think those fearing a loss are part of this.
That said, I think you are right that something else is going on.

We were watching last night and I decided to try to book a hotel room online in London for next week to see how far away the place would be...there are HUNDREDS of rooms available all through central London and at very good prices.

 
At 7/30/2012 2:11 PM, Blogger randian said...

The term "scalping" means selling an event ticket for more than face value
Then why can one frequently buy tickets from scalpers at less than face value? Remember that you can't sell today's ticket tomorrow.

 
At 7/30/2012 3:51 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Yes, but "scalping" is illegal in some places. Re-selling tickets at face or below is not.

 
At 7/30/2012 3:59 PM, Blogger randian said...

Re-selling tickets at face or below is not.
Where is reselling by unauthorized resellers legal if below face, but illegal above face? If it's illegal, it's usually so no matter the price.

 
At 7/30/2012 5:22 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I don't know every law from every city/state/country... but in the states I've lived, where scalping was illegal, re-selling tickets at face was not considered scalping or illegal.
If selling a ticket at face was illegal, one could never (legally) buy 4 tickets for his friends and have them pay him back.

Back in the days when I lived in Kansas City, scalping was illegal. However, you'd see ads in the classified sections selling tickets AND a pen and pencil set. The markup on the pen and pencil could be whatever anybody was willing to pay as long as the tickets were sold at face.

 
At 7/30/2012 5:43 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Actually, now I have seen every state law regarding ticket re-sale and all who outlaw seem to have the stipulation: "above face value".

Aside from weird laws about not allowing re-sale on venue grounds in some cases, in every state, it's the act of selling above face that is illegal, not the re-sale.

http://seatgeek.com/blog/ticket-industry/ticket-resale-laws

 
At 7/31/2012 8:43 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0767327a-da6d-11e1-902d-00144feab49a.html#axzz22CtcsLnn

i suspect the issue may have more to do with this london olympics just being a flat out bust.

they got nothing like the number of fans they had hoped for. according to the ft, they got around 1/3.

the hotels and businesses are suffering.

europe is broke and london is very expensive.

tickets to venues are the least of the cost issue when planning a trip to london.

london was a terrible choice for an olympics.

apart from prices, it lacks the transport to deal with the crowds and did not have good support from the locals. "pay an arm and a leg for a tiny hotel and mediocre food so you can wait 3 hours for the tube and maybe watch the cabbies go on strike" was just never that attractive a proposition.

there was also a very complex and confusing multi layered auction process for tix that baffled many and probably just kept them from participating.

it's a classic bureaucratic muddle:

lots of tickets and no on can figure out how to get them.

 
At 7/31/2012 1:13 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Actually, Morganovich,
it reminded me of a "trip that never was". My wife wanted to go to Wimbledon and I tried like hell to figure out their ticketing process and finally gave up. I think I could have gotten grounds passes if we were willing to stand in line for a full day with no guarantee....but getting SEATS...too difficult at any price.

 
At 7/31/2012 1:42 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Mike:


"it reminded me of a "trip that never was". My wife wanted to go to Wimbledon and I tried like hell to figure out their ticketing process and finally gave up. I think I could have gotten grounds passes if we were willing to stand in line for a full day with no guarantee....but getting SEATS...too difficult at any price."

I don't think the general public is actually welcome at Wimbledon and that attendance is reserved for *Important People*. Your story helps confirm that notion.

 
At 7/31/2012 4:19 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Ron,
You're right. One of my best friends was running commodities at Merril-London at the time and they had no problem. We could have gone if he hadn't moved to DB before our trip.

 
At 7/31/2012 4:49 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Mike:

"You're right. One of my best friends was running commodities at Merril-London at the time and they had no problem. We could have gone if he hadn't moved to DB before our trip."

I prefer to watch such events on TV if at all. The seating is more comfortable, the views are spectacular, refreshments and the restrooms are close at hand, my friends and family can be with me, and if need be we we can pause the live action to avoid missing anything. In addition there are dozens of commentators explaining every little detail to us in case we are stupid and don't understand what we are seeing.

What could be better than that? :)

 

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