Is Scalping Illegal?

It’s Texas/OU Weekend in Dallas.

The University of Texas Longhorns and the University of Oklahoma Sooners have been playing each other in football since 1900. Since 1914, the game has been played in Dallas, with the majority of the games at the Cotton Bowl in the State Fair of Texas.

Whether you call it the Red River Showdown, Red River Rivalry, or the Red River Shootout, it’s one of the great rivalries in college football.

And did I mention it’s played at the State Fair of Texas, the world’s great culinary experience for fried food aficionados. Name a food, any food, and I guarantee they are frying it and putting it on a stick at the State Fair of Texas.

The game is also one of the hardest tickets to get. In fact, the few times I have been to the game as a working stiff rather than as a Texas student, I bought the tickets from a scalper. Always at a price three or four times the face value of the ticket.

So what’s the deal with scalping? Is it legal?

Remember when everyone hated scalpers? I remember paying a scalper three times the face value for U2 tickets in the 90s, after waiting hours in line to buy tickets at the local Sound Warehouse. Remember those stores? Blockbuster bought the company and closed all of them in the mid 90s. How’s that for some bad karma?

While we always viewed scalpers as cheating the system, scalping is legal almost everywhere in the U.S., or very slightly regulated. In Texas, there’s no state law against ticket scalping. However, some cities, like Houston and Arlington, have ordinances restricting scalping.

And despite what you might have heard in the high school cafeteria, there’s also no limit on the amount of money a person may try to resell a ticket for.

So how much am I paying for this year’s game? Zilch. I will be spending my Saturday shuffling four kids to four different activities rather than cheering on the Longhorns.

Copyright © 2018 by Siobhán Fitzpatrick Kratovil. All Rights Reserved.

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