Ticket scalping becoming a billion dollar business

Ticket scalping becoming a billion dollar business

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Tickets sold out in three minutes for the Panthers game this weekend and prices ranged from 150 to 450 dollars. Now you can still get your tickets online, but some of those prices are now in the thousands.

"Yeah this is a huge business. I mean we're not just talking about the NFL. We're talking about the NBA, Major League Baseball, Hockey, concerts." said Al Romeo.

Romeo is a former economics professor and football fan, who says he's upset by prices he's seen from second hand brokers, making it harder for low income families to get to the game.

"But I think in general, this is a rip-off for football fans, and sports fans, and concert goers. Everyone that has to pay for a second hand ticket."

Romeo says he thinks there should be regulation that keeps websites like Vividseats and Stubhub from buying tickets in bulk and charging fans higher prices than the tickets are worth. Most states have laws that either prohibit or regulate ticket resale, although many don't account for online sellers. South Carolina recently passed a law in 2006 that keeps individuals from purchasing more than six tickets per person, making it harder for scalpers to control ticket prices. Mark Mitchell is a Marketing professor with CCU, and says he likes the idea of a free market online.

"Buyers have decisions. Sellers have decisions. Prices fluctuate. To me, the consumer wins in that case. It gives them access to events that they otherwise may not be able to get to, because the tickets were gobbled up or purchased real quickly." said Mitchell.

Mitchell says prices may not get lower than face value, but depending on the circumstance, like the weather, prices may actually go down instead of up.

"As the game gets closer, don't be surprised if a 200 dollar seat today... seller gets a little nervous. Not sure if I'm going to sell it, not sure if I'm going to have to eat it. You might see downward pressure on ticket prices as those motivated sellers if you will, sell."

The state legislature says a second hand broker could be charged with violating the unfair trade practice if it were determined they purchased more than 6 tickets a person.

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