No traffic in the neighborhood last night.
But I am intrigued by the scamming of State Fair tickets.
A little backstory... I have spent parts of the past 15 years as what many incorrectly call a "ticket scalper". In the mid-90s until about five years ago, my good friend (I'll call him Pete) ran a legitimate business called Wholesale Tickets & Tours with his partner Jeff. Pete is a stand-up guy, but Jeff was always a little shady, and the business collapsed when Jeff died unexpectedly. As Pete got out of the business, my good friend (I'll call him Scott) basically took his place in the marketplace by starting Brew City Tickets (based in West Allis, by they way).
So having worked with my buddies on the acquisition and sale of tickets (less so in the last few years), I am quite aware of how the business works. That's why it is so disturbing to find that almost 5000 people have tried to enter the State Fair with used tickets. For lack of a better term, illegitimate ticket people are hurting those that do this for a living... and do it the right way.
And don't think that any - ANY - venue or promoter doesn't want legitimate ticket brokers. If Ticketmaster wanted to, they could CRUSH all ticket brokers. But they don't want to. In the case of Ticketmaster events, almost all brokers buy tickets from Ticketmaster (either in person or on-line) and Ticketmaster gets their "convenience charge" on every ticket. They don't always collect that charge if attendees buy their tickets from the box office. Also, promoters LOVE the buzz of the media when a newspaper story mentions that "Scalpers are getting $400 a ticket".
State Fair is equally complicit. They get into bed with the Brewers, for example, for marketing tie-ins. Thousands of other tickets are distributed, and group sales are pushed. All ticket brokers - real ones and scammers alike - buy State Fair (and Summerfest) group tickets to make a profit. And State Fair takes their money happily, because that money is important in advance of the event.
And here is where State Fair folks are in their glory. They've sold all of these tickets in advance. They have that money. Now a few nogoodnicks start screwing around, and now State Fair is telling patrons to only buy from their ticket window. They are basically trying to sell the same ticket twice. I would love to be in that kind of business.
Putting my cards on the table, State Fair can do what it wants. It has the supply - tickets for a ticket only event - and there is demand. And although it sucks that the legitimate brokers, like Scott, are hurt, they are also parts in the free market cog. They made a business decision to buy bulk blocks of tickets, and some bad guys are screwing it up for them. But the blame lies squarely with the morons who are selling already used tickets as new. They didn't pay anything for the tickets, and they are hurting the ticket brokers.
Feel free to contact Brew City Tickets and help Scott get rid of his inventory that is now poisoned by some crooks.