Ticket scalping is the resale of tickets for an event. Generally, it applies to sporting events, especially ones in high demand. Every spring, thousands flock to Maricopa County for Major League Baseball Spring Training games. These games may not count for anything in the MLB standings, but the revenue they bring to the teams and Valley businesses is enormous. Millions of dollars are made during these few weeks every year, and the buying and selling of tickets for these games is a major part of the revenue. If you find yourself in possession of some extra tickets that you are looking to unload at one of these games, make sure you know the law before trying to “scalp” them.
Arizona Revised Statute § 13-3718 applies to Ticket Scalping and states the following:
- It is unlawful for any person to sell or offer to sell a ticket of admission to an event, which ticket was purchased for the purpose of resale, for a price in excess of the price as printed on the face of the ticket, plus lawful taxes and any other charge or assessment which is required to be paid in order to purchase the ticket from the original vendor, while being within two hundred feet of an entry to the stadium, arena, theater or other place where an event is being held, or of the entry to a contiguous parking area.
- It is unlawful for any person to change the price printed on the face of the ticket without the written permission of the original vendor of the ticket.
- Any person who violates this section is guilty of a petty offense.
- For purposes of this section, “event” shall mean a theatrical production, concert, sporting event or other entertainment event.
What this means for our readers is: You can sell your extra tickets for whatever price you want, as long as you are more than 200 feet from the stadium, and as long as you don’t alter the face value written on the ticket.
It shouldn’t be hard for you to find the 200 foot mark at the stadiums because that’s where the professional ticket scalpers will be positioned, but if you are really concerned ask one of the stadium employees, security members, or police officers working at the game where you are allowed to sell your tickets. If you are okay selling your extra tickets for face value, or at a discount, you can do it anywhere outside the stadium. If you don’t follow these rules you can be arrested, charged with a petty offense, and likely have your tickets confiscated by the police.
A Warning for those Buying or Trying to Sell Phony or Stolen Tickets
Every year, a number of people will inevitably do one or more of the following, manufacture phony tickets; buy a high number of tickets on credit and then never pay their credit card bills; or even steal tickets out of the mail. If someone does this, they are subject to Forgery, Fraud, and even possibly Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices felony charges. Be aware of the possibility of these charges, prior to buying tickets from a ticket “scalper.” The safest way to protect from buying stolen or forged tickets is to buy the tickets directly from the Box Office at the Stadium or from a licensed ticket agency like Ticketmaster. If you or someone you know is facing one or more of these charges, please call us immediately at 480-206-5204.
Please see the Fraud Crimes section of our Practice Areas if you are arrested and/or charged with any of these offenses.