ACC Basketball: UNC tickets in demand at Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. ó With North Carolina due to arrive in Lexington for a weekend matchup with the Kentucky Wildcats, tickets for the contest between the highly ranked teams have been high demand.
And with high demand come scalpers.
Lexington police plan to increase patrols for Saturdayís game and officials are issuing warnings that some tickets bought on the street could be stolen or fake.
Even with that warning, tickets are going at high prices, including to scalpers looking to add a few to the collection for sale.
James Collins of Erlanger was selling tickets Thursday. Collins told the Lexington Herald-Leader that North Carolina tickets had been offered to him for $400, but the price was too high and he passed on adding to his supply (http://bit.ly/vvKiqV ).
ěTheyíre asking too much money. Out here, weíre not willing to give more than $150 for them,î Collins said.
The game is a rematch of last yearís NCAA Tournament Elite Eight game won by Kentucky, and each team features top players and a rich tradition.
Ticketless fans determined get a seat inside Rupp Arena have no choice but to buy tickets secondhand. No tickets were sold to the public through Kentuckyís official outlets after the season started and all available UK-UNC tickets were snapped up by students early last month.
ěThe only tickets available for games once the season starts are the ones the students donít claim,î UK athletics spokesman DeWayne Peevy said.
Emmett Manley, one of several people holding signs that said ěI need ticketsî hours before the Kentucky-St. Johnís game Thursday, said he heard tickets for the UNC game were selling for about $500 on the street.
Since everybody seems to be holding on to their stock, itís anybodyís guess what prices will be on game day. Collins said tickets could be significantly lower than predicted if the market is flooded.
ěPresale, you try to get as much as you can. Game day, you just come out and dump your inventory,î he said.
Online, secondhand ticket prices varied from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Lower-level tickets were selling for $1,000 to $2,001 on StubHub.com on Thursday. Prices on Craigslist averaged from $200 to $800. PrimeSports.com was selling tickets from $88 on the low end to $2,970 for a pair of fourth-row seats.
Though selling tickets above face value is illegal in some areas, including Kentucky, ticket resale is big business nationally.
ěItís a $25 billion market. I donít know if people know how big this market is,î said Grant Cardone, Los Angeles-based economist, sports expert and author of The 10X Rule, a book about how to achieve success.
Lexington police Lt. Brian Maynard said police will be ěbeefing up enforcement effortsî to deal with an expected increase in street scalping Saturday. Not only is selling tickets above face value against state law, but selling anything within a block of Rupp Arena on game day is against a local ordinance.
Maynard said scalping waxes and wanes depending on demand for tickets. The last time police significantly cracked down on scalping was during the 2009-10 season, when anticipation was running high during Coach John Calipariís first season ó the same season counterfeits surfaced for the first time in almost a decade.
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