Features

Cubs win? So do scalpers

National

Issue: "Terror on trial," Oct. 18, 2003

Talk about mania. Breaking a 95-year streak of futility had Cubs fans opening their pocketbooks. Some Cubs fans doled out thousands of dollars for tickets to the National League Championship Series against the Florida Marlins. And why shouldn't the Cubs fans have been excited? After all, the last time the Cubs had won a playoff series was 1908, the same year they won their last World Series. While some passionate patrons opted to hit the street for ticket scalpers, others explored scalping's Electric Avenue. Two days before Game 2 of the NLCS, an eBay auction put the price of four right-field bleacher tickets at $1,625. Four tickets to a hypothetical Game 6 between the Cubs and Marlins fetched nearly the same amount.

Many fans turn to eBay to find all sorts of tickets. On Oct. 6, eBay recorded more than 30,000 auctions for ticket packages ranging from four playoff bleacher seats at Wrigley to single concert tickets.

But it's not just the Cubs fans scouring the Internet for tickets. Tickets for the Red River Shootout pitting Texas versus Oklahoma were hot items up until game day last weekend. The Monday before the game, one eBay patron sold four tickets on the 35-yard line for more than $1,400. A bidding war erupted over NBA season tickets for the 41 Los Angeles Lakers home games, shooting prices for four season tickets to over $16,000. With the Lakers revamped lineup, that translates to about $4,000 per future hall-of-famer.

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Worth the price of admission? Ask a Cub fan with playoff fever.

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