JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Special Event Ticket Services owner Daniel Dillard buys, sells and trades event tickets. Yesterday, he showed some coveted tickets to Friday's University of Hawaii football game. His car, above, sports the license plate "TKTS."
Hot tickets: No matter the score, scalpers win
Cold cash -- lots of it -- can still get a seat at Friday’s game
STORY SUMMARY »
The University of Hawaii football game against Boise State sold out two weeks ago, but there still are plenty of tickets available -- for those who can afford them.
Scores of tickets to Friday's Western Athletic Conference championship showdown between the Warriors and the Broncos are being sold on the Internet, some for about 13 times the box-office price.
People reselling tickets online at eBay or craigslist are calling it "the biggest game of the year," and the "game that decides it all."
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JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Daniel Dillard, owner of Special Event Ticket Services, and son Patrick, 3, displayed some of the coveted tickets to the final two 2007 UH football games yesterday at Aloha Stadium.
Danny Dillard made $700 yesterday selling two college football tickets for Friday's game between Hawaii and Boise State to someone willing to spend big bucks to sit up close.
"A client said he was willing to spend $1,000," said Dillard, who owns Special Event Ticket Services and who paid $300 for the pair of lower-level, 50-yard-line tickets online. "I sold them today."
Call it the Wall Street of football, a place where fans keep a close eye on rankings and bowl possibilities to cash in on prized tickets.
Friday's sold-out game, pitting the undefeated, 14th-ranked Warriors against the 17th-ranked Broncos -- with the Western Athletic Conference title and a possible Sugar Bowl berth at stake -- is driving the scalping market way up.
Tickets costing no more than $38 in the box office are being advertised for as high as $312 on Web sites like eBay.com and craigslist.com.
Makiki resident Brandon Lorenz just wanted to make his money back when he went online to sell two tickets because he will miss the game while vacationing.
"I was looking on craigslist, and I was like, wow, people are putting ridiculous prices on them, so I'm just going to go for it," said Lorenz, who is asking for $200. "But if at the last minute, someone offered me $150, I'd probably just take it."
Reselling tickets on the Internet or outside Aloha Stadium for steeper prices is legal in Hawaii, which abolished its anti-scalping law in 1973, authorities said.
"There's no law against scalping," said Aloha Stadium spokeswoman Lois Manin. "We just ask them to stay away from our box office."
Critics of scalping complain it inflates ticket prices, and at least 15 U.S. states prohibit the resale of tickets to sporting and entertainment events for a price greater than face value, according to a 2002 study by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
But people such as Dillard, who's been scalping since 1985 and bought 200 Hawaii-Boise tickets, say it's risky business. The simple threat of rain, he said, could significantly dampen resale value.
"You could never, ever, in your entire life make a dollar on a UH football game until this year," he said.
Hawaii Athletic Director Herman Frazier said the school doesn't "condone scalping."
"You always have people who take advantage of it," he said. "If you buy a bunch of tickets to sell later you put yourself out on a limb. It's part of the industry. We're just happy we're in a position that we have a game that so many people are interested in."
But not everyone holding a sought-after ticket is out to make a profit on an Internet bidding frenzy.
Brandi Bockhaus of Kaneohe is hoping to trade two tickets for the Boise game for four similar seats when UH plays Washington next week. Bockhaus and her boyfriend want four side-by-side seats so they can invite another couple.
"They don't have tickets because everything is sold out," she said. "We thought the best way to do it was to trade them if you can't buy them."
There are 1,000 tickets left for the Dec. 1 contest between the Warriors and the Huskies, according to UH.
Makana Thompson, a season-ticket holder who sold his Boise game seat for $225 yesterday, also plans to put the Washington ticket on the online market.
The Salt Lake resident, who has been attending games this year with friends who have extra seats, said the money should cover his ticket membership for the Warriors' 2008 season.
"I pay $375 a year for one seat," Thompson said.
Star-Bulletin reporter Dave Reardon contributed to this story.
Aloha Stadium will begin opening its parking gates 5 1/2 hours before Friday's football game between Hawaii and Boise State and provide four extra parking lots to handle an estimated 50,000 fans.
The Lower Halawa parking gates will open at 10:30 a.m., one hour before all other gates open.
"We are anticipating a lot of traffic since the game is sold out and falls on the Thanksgiving holiday (weekend)," said stadium manager Scott Chan.
More parking will be available for $5 at Ford Island, Kam Drive-In and Radford High School starting at 11:30 a.m. Parking at Leeward Community College will be free, with a $2 shuttle service to the stadium.