Success Breeds Scalping

Whenever an athletic team is entering a new phase, making history or experiencing success, people want to witness it.

The Butler men’s basketball games have become a sought-after ticket, not just in Indianapolis but also around the country.

The Bulldogs have played in 14 sellout games this season, nine on the road.  With the final home game of the season on March 9 against Xavier

already sold out, that makes a single-season record five sellouts at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

The team’s recent success, the move to the Atlantic 10 Conference, beating a top-ranked team for the first time in school history, hosting ESPN

College GameDay and multiple last-minute wins has made getting your hands on Bulldogs tickets a more difficult ordeal than it was in the past.

The increased demand has seen tickets appear on sites such as StubHub for several times their face value.  Upper-level tickets for the Xavier game that were sold at the Butler ticket office for $21 can be found on StubHub for as much as $159, and lower-level seats that sold for $41 can be found for $225.

Lee and Noah, two brothers who asked that the Collegian not disclose their last names, traveled from Chicago and St. Louis, respectively, and met in Indianapolis for the game Friday night.  They decided two days before that they would come to the game.

“Our dad teaches at (Saint Louis), so we’re fans,” Noah said.

They traveled all the way to Hinkle without tickets but purchased them from a man on the corner of 49th Street and Boulevard Place about an hour before tip-off.

Their tickets were in the upper-level section 32, where the majority of Billiken fans sat for the game.

“We paid $40 each,” Noah said.

Those same tickets were $17 originally from the ticket office inside Hinkle.

Two of the three men on the corner with “I need tickets” signs around their necks were from St. Louis.  The third was from Indianapolis.  One of the St. Louis men had more tickets for section 32.

“I want $40 or $50 each,” said the man, who asked that the Collegian not disclose his name.

Shortly after saying that, he ran across the street because an IMPD officer was approaching.

“This is college property,” the officer said. “If I catch you on this side again I’ll lock you up.”

Since they can’t stand on the property, scalpers often stand on the south side of 49th Street to avoid any trouble.

The university is not concerned with the ticket resale.

“You can’t avoid that, nor do you necessarily want to,” said Matt Harris, manager of fan development and tickets.  “Any company or individual has the same chance to purchase tickets as anybody else.  They have to go through the same method.”

The rise in demand this season has left some question as to whether or not ticket prices at the box office may rise in the future.

“That’s hard to say,” Harris said. “It depends on who we’re playing, when we’re playing, how many games we have. We haven’t even put pen to paper yet to figure out next year’s prices.”

The only remaining home game for the Butler men’s basketball team is against Xavier on March 8. .


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