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Elite Seats: Why Student Ticket Re-Sales Hurt Football

The Toledo Blade reported yesterday that the Ohio State University's web portal buckled under the weight of fan traffic, as alumni surged to the site to check out how they fared in a recent ticket lottery that awards 90 percent of graduates the right to attend one game.

Which game?  Participants don't know -- but they come in waves for the chance to snag even a single shot at catching their alma mater in action.

Meanwhile, students all over campus are primed and salivating at the prospect of turning and burning their full season ticket alottment for profit.  A good friend of mine at the college of law gets up early on the first day the sign up window opens, brushing her teeth while she waits in a queue to determine whether she's landed a full season alottment.

What's the problem with that?  My friend hates college football and everything it represents.  To her, grabbing the hottest ticket in town is a smart investment.  After all, she pays just a fraction of the general admission price to land the set -- then upgrades, and sells to the general public at a premium.  Last year -- she brags -- she made almost $1,000.

(Another friend of mine sells his Michigan ticket each year.  The proceeds pay for the rest of his season).

I won't dispute that as a student, re-selling tickets is a smart way to make a quick buck.  But, before you log in to take advantage, consider this: as a lifetime resident of Columbus, I know diehard Buckeye fans that have never been to a single game.  For decades they've watched their team compete on television, in a stadium a short-drive down the road.    

If you don't want to go to the games and scream until your throat is sore, don't buy tickets.  College sports are for communities, not capitalists.