Home » Indianapolis, Men's College Basketball, Northwestern Men's Basketball, Purdue Men's Basketball

Traffic, Greed and Bad Fans: NU vs. Purdue

13 March 2010 No Comment

My decision to attend the Northwestern men’s basketball game in the Big Ten Tournament rather than the Milwaukee Bucks game meant I needed to leave earlier than expected. I left my house at 2:00 pm in order to make the first tip at 6:30 pm (Eastern Time). The drive from Chicago to Indianapolis normally takes me about 3 hours, so I should have had 30 minutes to park, buy a ticket from scalpers outside of Conseco Fieldhouse and get to my seat – plenty of time, right?

Wrong! About 47 miles outside of Indianapolis (I say about because that is what the sign said on the side of the highway as I hit “the traffic”), cars were stopped on the highway and I mean stopped – zero miles per hour. Did I say traffic was stopped? Remember, I only had 30 minutes to park, buy a ticket and get into the game so this delay was not helping my cause. I knew my only saving grace was that Michigan St. was playing Minnesota in the game after Northwestern so scalpers and the fans of those two teams who did not attend the Northwestern game would still be trying to sell tickets outside the arena. Plus, the session was not sold out, so if worse came to worse; I would buy a ticket at the box office ($40 face value). I sat in traffic for about an hour and arrived at my $3 parking lot (Express Park on Pennsylvania St.) around 6:45 pm.

Beg, Borrow and Deal
I assumed I could buy a ticket to the session for $10 or $20. The cheapest seats at the box office were $40 and the session was not sold out. But what I feared was true. Since I was late all of the Northwestern fans who may have had extra tickets had already entered the stadium. And the scalpers were holding out for Michigan St. fans (Minnesota was not out enforce) to pay top dollar for their first level, even second level seats. The cheapest seat I could find was $50 (just under the face value of $55). At this point I almost considered buying a ticket from the box office. Instead I ran back to a scalper who had offered me a ticket for $20 on the way in. I declined thinking I could find a better deal.

Instead I found a fan talking to a scalper who had four tickets for sale (two for Friday night’s session and two for Saturday’s semi-finals). This is where the greed of scalpers blinds their ability to rationally run a “scalping” business. I offered the fan $20 for his ticket and told the scalper he could buy the other three (including both of Saturday’s which was “the prize” for the scalper) for $60 total. The scalper told me no and raised his offer to $100 for all four. The fan seeing an extra $20 accepted the offer even though I told him I was planning to go to the game. The fan did not care – Jerk!

At this point I offered the scalper $30 for the ticket he just bought. I knew if he was willing to pay $25 per ticket (even though most of the money was in Saturday’s tickets); I would have to pay higher. He hesitated to split up his pair but accepted. In the end, the scalper screwed himself and me over.

If you understood the last paragraph then skip this one. If not, then hopefully the next paragraph is more clear.

My first offer would have cost the scalper $60 and myself $20. Instead he outbid me and bought all four tickets for $100. I then paid him $30 for a single. Meaning he ended up spending $70 for the three tickets he could have bought for $60. $10 may not be a big deal to some, but when dealing with ticket scalpers on the street, you realize they are not making very much money on each transaction. $10 to them is a big deal. He did break up his pair to sell me a single and guarantee himself a $5 profit.

Northwestern vs. Purdue
I made it into the game at the 10:00 minute mark in the first half. Not ideal, but good considering everything that happened. One complaint I have about Big Ten men’s basketball fans is that they are so whiny. Granted the officials called a crappy game, but the Purdue fans complained constantly – no different than the visiting fans that show up at Welsh-Ryan Arena throughout the regular season. Quit whining Big Ten fans!

Big Ten Tournament

Northwestern was down most of the game when Jeremy Nash hit a three-pointer to bring Northwestern to within one-point of Purdue with 46 seconds left. However, Northwestern just needed to foul Purdue to guarantee the game stay within three points for their next possession when somehow the ball made it to Chris Kramer who made a layup, while Davide Curletti fouled him! Kramer made his free throw to give Purdue a four-point lead with 36 seconds left and the game was essentially over – so much for the comeback. NIT here we come!

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.