Start of the game from our seats
Last Sunday Drew - Keith - Liz and I were in Madison Square Garden watching Drew's Duke Blue Devils lose. This Sunday - Lulu and I watched the Seminoles take it on the chin - courtesy of the Tar Heels. It was an interesting way to spend a birthday.
The Dean Dome holds 22,000 people - I was surprised at how many showed up on a Super Bowl Sunday. I would say about only 2% of the baby blue seats were empty. Coming from Tallahassee - I did not expect tickets to be in such a premium - both here and last night at Duke. Although there were a lot of tickets for sale - most of them were in the upper level - I would say that 70% of the seats are in the nose bleed section. Face value of tickets in the Dean Smith Center is $55. But if you want to buy a season ticket in the lower level - you must first pay a $2500 seats license before you can buy any of the "$55 tickets."
About 45 minutes before game time we were lucky when someone offered us two tickets along the base line. The guy was well dressed - definitely not a scalper. We paid $50 each - which was $5 below face value. Lulu wanted to go right into the arena - but a scalper offered us $100 each for our tickets. After much deliberation and discussion - we decided to sell the tickets and try for another set. A scalper approached me - and I sold him the tickets for a tidy profit. As soon as I took the money - he grabbed my wrist and said I was under arrest. He only held my hand for less than a second - then smiled and said he was kidding. After I changed my underwear - we joked a little - and he went out to sell those tickets again - at a higher price. He said he would double his money.
Lulu put up two fingers - and two nice guys offered her two tickets for face - $55 each - lower level in the Ram section. That is where we found out about the seat license fee. I am really impressed with the Tar Heels drawing power to get away with that $2500 robbery. We sat with those guys - enjoyed a friendly conversation. Lulu proceeded to offer her card to one of the guys' wives because she was interested in the FSU online library science masters program. She is "always" hyping her program.
FSU lost by 20 - but were as close as 6 points with 10 minutes to go - then the bottom fell out.
We had our eyes opened to a few ticket scams that just blew our minds away. Lulu watched the scene when one guy bought two tickets from a UNC booster for a good price. When the guy attempted to enter the arena - the ticket collectors wand alarm went off. The ticket collector said the owner of the tickets had gone on the computer on "stub hub" and sold those tickets. The new buyer went into the game on a paper printout of the sale. Although the tickets were "real" not "counterfeit" tickets they were still worthless. The guy left - head hung over - and while walking down the hill - a couple of scalpers bought the tickets for $100 each. The tickets were real - but worthless because of this new way that "stubhub" could re-sell the tickets.
Not only do ticket buyers have to worry about avoiding counterfeit tickets - they have no way of knowing if someone re-sold the tickets on StubHub. As that scene went down - I was thinking of the night before. Scalpers were selling Duke tickets for $200 each. Imagine buying $400 worth of real tickets only to find them worthless.
It is a long way from Tallahassee - where the face value of our basketball tickets is $18. The Civic Center at home is seldom more than half full - and one can buy a couple of tickets for $5 each - them move down into the good seats that are empty because many season ticket holders stay home.
Can you just imagine the feeling when the alarm goes off at the turnstile saying your tickets are worthless - and you just paid $100 for them?
We ended up in really nice seats - although we were surrounded by baby blue clothes. People were nice as long as we didn't cheer a lot - and also the Tar Heels were ahead. I can see how Carolina fans are called the Wine and Cheese Crowd - really the Whine and Cheese Crowd. They are always whining about the referee calls. I guess after paying $2500 for a seat license on top of $55 tickets - they feel like they are owed every call.
After the game - we walked back to our car in town - and headed for Greensboro. Tomorrow Lulu visits a school library here - then on to Asheville NC - then Knoxville TN - Decatur GA - and finally home Thursday night to our own bed.
End of the game and scoreboard