The most odd piece of correspondence I ever received from the Chicago Bears was the one where they asked me to just give the Bears six thousand dollars in exchange for...nothing.
Today I received another interesting piece of correspondence, this time from the Wisconsin Badgers. Before we go into the email I received, a little background.
Even though I am an Illini fan, I am a season ticket holder for UW football. I live in Madison and the atmosphere around Camp Randall is hard to beat and Big Ten football, of course, rocks.
A few years ago the Badgers, since their football program is so successful, added several thousand seats to their stadium. A large chunk of these seats were in the north end zone and there was a random raffle to determine who was to receive them. I honestly don't remember if I paid to be in the raffle or not. Anyways, I got two seats. I go to one or two games a year, always Big Ten conference games. I typically sell the rest of the tickets, either locally or through eBay.
Today I received this email. Not as bad as the Bears, but similar. The Badgers are asking me for some of my hard earned dough in exchange for....nothing.
The Wisconsin Football Ticket marketplace is a sham, of course. The Athletic Department is playing on the loyalty and dedication of their fans to enrich themselves. Here is how it works.
Season ticket holders, to be eligible to use the marketplace, must donate at least $50 annually to the Wisconsin Athletic Department. Then any unused tickets can be sold through the marketplace to other people. The Badgers keep 15% of the resale value. Not a bad deal you say? Not so fast.
The resale value is set at the face value of the tickets.
What a sham.
The very worst tickets for the Wisconsin/Penn State game (upon a quick look at eBay) are selling for close to one hundred dollars each.
That is a big difference between the face value (approximately $45 each) and the current true market value. And if Wisconsin and Penn State have good seasons that value will only go up.
I guess what I am scratching my head about is why the Badgers won't just open their private ticket exchange to free market prices, rather than fixing the sell price at face value. It is silly and insane for anyone to participate in it except for the buyers. The Badgers pocket a little money, but it hardly seems like it is worth the time to mess around. In other words, they are leaving a LOT of money on the table.
True, they could be doing this to avoid bad publicity like the Cubs constantly get for opening the agency that scalps their own tickets.
What is the deal with these football programs, the Bears and Badgers, sending me propaganda asking me for free money? If they don't think they are making enough on my admission, rather than acting like BONEHEADS they should just jack the ticket prices. Or better yet, auction them. But that is most certainly grist for another post.
At least there is a brisk market for Wisconsin and Bear tickets, unlike the current situation at U of I. Although I think even the Badgers will have problems with demand for some of their stinker games this year, especially that late season game with Buffalo Community College.