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September 08, 1983 - Image 58

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-09-08

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Page C-6 - The Michigan Daily, Thursday, September 8, 1983
Students cash in on

'M' football tickets

Trading baseball cards in sixth grade
might seem like a distant memory, but
the skills you gained haggling and
bargaining could turn into big bucks in
At the University, there's a more
sophisticated game of ticket trading
you can find in play any day of the week
in front of the Michigan Union. Ticket
scalpers prowl the sidewalks on State
Street pawning off football tickets to the
highest bidding Wolverine fan.

But scalping tickets can also be
lucrative part-time work for students -
and is probably more exciting than
flipping burgers at a ;fast-food
DEALING WITH only five to 15
tickets a game, some student scalpers
say they turn a $200 weekly profit for
only a few hours work.
"It is addictive when you are not
losing money," said one student scalper
who asked not to be identified. "The
police never look around, the law is on

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Scalping isn't a problem at the University. It
(a problem) doesn't exist. Maybe at other
schools, but not here.
-Don Canham,
athletic director

from $40 to $100, bringing skilled
scalpers $30 to $75 a sale.
Professional scalpers who purchase
100 season tickets, can haul in about
$10,000 a season. "The profits add up if
:you know what you are doing," said an
Ann Arbor professional scalper who
asked not to be identified.
BUT STUDENT scalpers said that if
spending money is all you are after,
dealing in large volumes is not
One University student who has
scalped tickets for two years worked
'It was amazing. In aI
turn into $200. It was in
out a fine-tuned strategy with a partner
for football Saturdays. The farther
away a seller is from the stadium the
cheaper the tickets are, the student ex-
His partner would buy tickets around
the hill dorms for $6 a piece and then
shuttle them to the stadium where he
would re-sell them for three times as
"FOR GOOD games, OSU, Notre
Dame, and MSU you can charge $20 to
$40, if the weather is nice," the LSA
junior said. "I sell my ticket, then buy
another which is cheaper. There is
always someone trying to get rid of
tickets. You buy cheap and sell high.
"Some friends thought it was
terrible, but I didn't care because I was
making money.
"It's practical," he said.
Most student scalpers fall into the
profit-making game after one lucky
escapade. The same student began
scalping at the 1980 Notre Dame game
and was so successful he continued for
the next two years.
"I BOUGHT two Notre Dame tickets
for $20, sold them for $60. I made $40
bucks and me and my girlfriend went
out to dinner," he said.
"The next week we bought two tickets
for $25, and sold them to a business man
for $90."
On some Saturdays, "it was

WHILE THE GOAL of trading
baseball cards was filling at least three
shoe boxes, football ticket scalpers
want to get rid of their collections - by
taking a bite out of your paycheck.
A student ticket costs $6.50 this year,
compared to $13 for non-student tickets.
But on the average, scalpers charge $20
a ticket and up to $90 for popular
There are scalpers of all ages,
students, old men, amateurs, and
professionals. And although the prac-
tice is illegal, punishable by a 90-day
jail sentence and $100 fine, the Ann Ar-
bor police rarely enforce the law.
THE CLAN which decorates the steps
of the Union every fall is evidence of the
lax enforcement. There are also
professional scalpers who advertise
daily in local newspapers and purchase
50 to 100 tickets every season to re-sell
for a profit.
The professionals usually have a large
clientele and some work an 80-hour
week, according to one local scalper.
They spend thousands of 'dollars to
make the original ticket purchases and
buy newspaper ads, he said.

paper, but in practice, it is not enfor-
Catching scalpers is "not a top
priority," said Captain Kenneth Clinge
of the Ann Arbor Police Department
adding that he has never seen anyone
jailed for scalping tickets.
"There are not a lot of cases, but
there are cases," Clinge said. "It's en-
forced as workload permits. We don't
have a big detail out looking."
THERE ARE police around the
stadium, but they mostly leave scalpers
alone, said several local scalpers.
The University's athletic department
also tends to ignore scalping and the
laws barring it. Unlike most schools,
which check student identification at
the gate, the University makes no effort
to prevent non-students from using
student tickets.
University Athletic Director Don Can-
ham said his office is not concerned with
ticket scalping.
"SCALPING ISN'T a problem at the
University. It doesn't exist. Maybe at
other schools, but not here," he said.
"Students want to use their tickets
because we have a winning team."

amazing," he said. "In a half-hour, we
saw $50 turn into $200."
"It was insane," he said.
ATTEMPTING TO cash in big a few
times, however, is something
professionals warn against. An over-
confident attitude can bury students in
debt. Profits depend entirely on the
game and the weather, they said.
If it rains "you go down the tubes,"
said an Ann Arbor professional scalper.
When it rained at last year's Ohio
State game, for example, most scalpers4
sold tickets for $6 and some gave them
half-hour, we saw $50
student ticket scalper
away, he said. Wolverine fans, for th
most part, aren't too interested in a
rain-drenched football field.
There are horror stories. One in-
cident told by several professional
scalpers involved an out-of-state
;tudent, attending the University on
grants and scholarships, who made
$1,8G0 scalping tickets when Michigan
played Notre Dame a few years ago.
THE FOLLOWING week the student
decided to use all of his grant and
scholarship money to buy more tickets.
When the rain poured Saturday mor-
ning and no one was interested in the
game, the rookie scalper was left pen-
There are many more students who
lose money, according to the
professionals, who said it takes years to
make a consistent profit from scalping
"Good service is the key to high
profits," said one professional who ha
built a strong clientele of Detroit an
Ann Arbor business executives sine
Instead of charging a client twice the
price, this professional keeps invoices
with the face value of the ticket clearly
written on it and adds on a "service
charge" for locating particular seats.
For example, a doctor who wants two

Daily Photo by JEFF SCHRIER

Ticket scalpers like this one say they
football tickets each week.
"Perhaps scalping is worse for
schools with losing teams when people
want to get rid of their tickets,"
Canham siad.
Professional scalpers said Canham's
point of view is naive, but profitable.
The "Go Blue" spirit which drives the
Athletic Department to sell out the
stadium also blinds the office to any
methods used to fill the seats, they said.
SCALPING IS widespread and un-
controlled, according to several Ann
Arbor scalpers.
"If they didn't want scalpers,
Canham could stop it," said an eight-
year professional who would not give
his name. "At Michigan State or Ohio
State student tickets are used only by
students. They check IDs or have

make a big profit selling Wolverine
separate admissions gate for students
and non-students."
At the University, he said, the
Athletic Department's top priority is
selling 100,000 tickets every week. If
student ticket use was enforced, the
scalping market would drop sharply, he
"WHAT (CANHAM) wants is the
illusion of desirability. He wants the
Dublic to believe the University has no
problem selling out seats. If he enfor-
ced student ticket use, no one would buy
tickets any more," he said.
But the "big games" bring profits for
scalpers as well as the Athletic Office.
When the Wolverines take on Ohio
State, Michigan State, or Notre Dame,
a pair of scalped tickets costs anywhere

Taxis, buses help stranded students

Most students come to the University
without a car, but it does not mean they
are marooned on campus. There are
several inexpensive and sometimes
even free services students can use to
get around campus, downtown, or to
nearby cities.
The city buses, operated by the Ann
Arbor Transportation Authority, are
usually reliable, unless a foot of snow
has just been dumped on the streets. In
the winter, and especially during the
holiday season, buses tend to be tardy
and sometimes overcrowded.
BUT THE fare is only 60 cents and the
buses are heated in the winter and air
conditioned in the summer. They are
reasonably clean and well kept. The
city also sponsors several free-fare and
dime fare days throughout the year.
Some popular routes among students
. Route 6, Michigan Union to Briar-
wood shopping mall - Briarwood is the
average suburban shopping mall with
all the big department stores such as
Hudsons, Sears, and J.C. Penny's.
Buses labeled "State-Ellsworth" run
every half hour. Buses on this route get
extremely crowded during the
" Route 9, Fourth Street at William to
Westgate shopping mall - The Fox
Village Theaters are located near

Westgate, another major shopping cen-
ter. Buses labeled "Jackson" run every
half hour.
" ROUTE 4, Washington Street to
Eastern Michigan University - This is
the bus to Ypsilanti. Pick up the bus,
labeled "Washtenaw," in front of the
Thano's Company Parking lot on
Washington. It stops at Arborland
shopping center, and runs every half
These are only a few of the routes;
full schedules can be picked up at the
Transportation Authority's main office
on Fourth Street.
If waiting for the city buses is too
much of a hassle, taxis are an alter-
native, although an expensive one.
TWO CAB companies service Ann Ar-
bor, Veteran's Cabs and Yellow Cab
Company. Between them, they provide
the city with about seventy taxis. Both
are open 24 hours and will take
passengers wherever they want to go,
even out of state.

Both companies charge a flat fee of $1
then $1.10 per mile or 20 cents a minute
when the cab is stopped. Charges can
be cut substantially, however, by split-
ting the fare between several people
Veteran's Cabs allows four people to
ride for the price of one, while Yellow
Cab lets four.
Cabs usually take about ten to twenty
minutes to arrive, but during bad
weather the wait can stretch to nearly
an hour.
TAXIS CAN almost always be found at
cab stands in front of the Union, Angell
Hall, or the Michigan League. To be
picked up at your door call Yellow Cab
at 663-3355 or Veterans Cabs at 662-4477.
The University runs its own shuttle
service for central and North Campus.
Buses labeled "commuter" run bet-
ween Chrisler arena and the medical
complex, making several stops on cen-
tral campus. Commuter buses stop
about every ten minutes until 6:00 on
weekdays, and do not run on weekends;

City starved for park

Planning to bring your car to school?
Like many students, you will probably
find that parking it is a hassle.
Ann Arbor is starved for public

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you're on the right track

parking spaces, especially long term
ones. The city streets are lined with
metered spots, but the meters don't run
for more than two hours, and they are
usually full anyway. Most restaurants,
stores, and shops own lots, but only for
their customers. The University owns
thousands of spaces, but only for em-
ployees. And the few long term lots in
town charge more than most students
can pay.
SO THE MAJORITY of drivers are
stuck with no where to park. So they
park illegally. And the city gives them
a ticket.
City ticketers don't miss much. In
April and May alone, they handed out
49,620 tickets, and in one three-week
stretch last spring they towed away 309,
cars. Parking violators pay the city
about $150,000 each month.
"We do pay attention to our expired
meters in Ann Arbor," says city
parking manager Michael Scott, with
more than a touch of understatement.
THERE ARE, however, ways studen-
ts can avoid the parking nightmare, or
at least attempt to live with it.
The University operates two lots, one
on North Campus the other on Central
Campus, where students can park for
a price. Unfortunately, that price is $110
a year.
Equally unfortunate is that there are

North campus buses take students to
Bursley and Baits Residence Halls or
Northwood apartments every ten
minutes for most of the day. After 6:00
p.m. they run every twenty minutes, and
after 12:30 only every forty-five
minutes. The last North Campus bu94
leaves at 2:15 a.m. and is always
packed on weekends.
North campus buses can be picked up
at the C.C. Little Building or in front of
the Kresge Medical center.
In the winter the University also
operates a van, called the Night Owl,
which students can use to get around af-
ter dark. The Night Owl is scheduled to
run between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. and is
free. Leaving every half hour, it runs
from the south side of the Un-a
dergraduate Library to various points
on central campus.
Night-Ride, a division of Veteran's
Cabs, is another way students can get
home safely at night. After 11:00 p.m.
See TAXIS, Page 7
-Ing spots
only 347 spaces, and the people who pa
that $100 are considered lucky.
PERMITS FOR the lots go on sale af-
ter Labor Day at the Parking Operations
Building. They are sold strictly on a fir-
st-come first-served basis.
The University also owns two free
storage lots for students to park cars.
The catch here is that you can only take
' your car out once a week.
City operated parking structures are
an even more expensive option for
students with cars. For $35 a month
students can park in any one of the
city's five parking structures.
located on Maynard Street, Forest
Ave., Fourth Street and William,
Washington Street and First Street, and
Washington Street and Fourth.
A problem with using these ramps is
vandalism, however. It is not that
unusual for a car to be almost
destroyed by vandals, according to Bo
Duty, the city street, parking, and traf-
fic officer. He cites one case of "a brand
new car, (that) had 1800 miles on it.
They stripped it down," he says.
"We have a certain amount of van-
dalism in all of our structures," says
The only really cheap and convenient
way, to park in Ann Arbor is to find a
See CITY, Page 7


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