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Ticket office tackles record demand

Mary Kate Malone | Friday, September 8, 2006

Facing the highest ticket demand in the University’s history, the Notre Dame ticket office has worked tirelessly to catch people re-selling their football tickets for above face value.

Scalping, like ticket demand, is higher than usual this year, said Director of ticket operations Josh Berlo.

So far, more than 800 tickets have been revoked – and 400 of them were intercepted before they were delivered to the buyer, Berlo said.

Sellers could be fined or, at worst, have their ticket privileges permanently revoked.

Scalping is not isolated to one group of the Notre Dame community – ticket office officials have caught students, faculty, alumni, benefactors and Monogram Club members scalping their tickets.

The ticket office has one full-time employee monitoring more than 20 resale ticket Web sites and classified ads and several others who periodically monitor the sites as well. Sometimes, Berlo said, officials will purchase tickets from these sites in order to catch the seller.

“We have found representatives from all parts of the Notre Dame family reselling tickets for profit,” Berlo said. “We’ve seen tickets go for several hundred dollars.”

The 800 confiscated tickets were resold to alums who lost in the lottery.

On game day, ticket office officials, in conjunction with Notre Dame Security/Police will be working undercover to catch people selling their tickets for above face value, which is prohibited on campus.

“The University prohibits the sale of tickets on campus, and the University has the right to confiscate any tickets to be sold above face value,” Berlo said.

Trading tickets, however, is “absolutely” legal.

Although scalping is legal in the state of Indiana, ticket officials will be catching scalpers off-campus as well and revoking their ticket privileges, since University policy prohibits the re-sale of its athletic tickets above face value.

“The Internet helps us catch people. … We’re able to monitor more of it than we could historically,” Berlo said.

Ticket scams are also on the rise. It is not uncommon to find people asking for deposits or down payments on tickets they don’t actually have. But fraudulent activities are harder to catch, Berlo said.

“There’s not a lot we can do about that other than educate our customers on how to avoid them,” he said.