Another opening day at Fenway Park, and once again, Yawkey Way was teaming with sausages, peanuts, and ticket scalpers. Then there are those who bought from overpriced on line ticket vendors.
“I got them on Stub Hub,” said one woman who bought two tickets to surprise her boyfriend on his birthday. “I paid about 100 bucks for them and the actual price is 25, so I paid three times more.”
That’s exactly what had Maryellen Hunter from Bourne is Curious. She wrote in, “I’m curious why so many Sox tickets end up at ticket agencies or on Ebay or StubHub, where they raise the prices so high that working class fans like myself cannot afford the prices. For years I have entered the Red Sox lottery to win a chance to purchase Yankees or green monster seats. I never win and then I see the tickets being sold for up to 4 to 5 times the cost at these other places. What gives?”
We put the question to State Representative Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport), who has tried to update Massachusetts scalping laws.
He says ticket agencies, “…go online and jam the lines when they can to buy the tickets. They’ll actually plant people in line to buy the tickets.”
He says ticket companies have, “…a list of season ticket holders that are ready, willing, and able to sell some of their tickets to help subsidize the cost of their season tickets.”
In Massachusetts it is illegal for anyone to sell a ticket for more than $2 above face value.
But Rodrigues says since the law dates all the way back to the 1920s, the penalties are too low.
“If someone makes hundreds scalping a ticket, they’re willing to pay the $50 fine.”
The good news is that prices on Ebay and on internet ticket agency sites have gone down since economy weary fans aren’t willing to pay quite as much.
Last season, Rodrigues proposed a law to make scalping legal. He said it would allow the state to license and better regulate those who re-sell tickets. The law passed in the House, but died in the Senate.
The only other way for fans to buy tickets is from the Red Sox Box office. Fans have been known to wait for hours in long lines for the limited number of seats sold on game days.
Before the season begins, the team offers an internet lottery for the opportunity to buy only a limited number of seats at a time. We found one man who was able to get two.
“Go on the web, you try and try, maybe 3 hours later you get a couple,” he said.
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