Saturday’s Clemson-Georgia game is sold out, but there are plenty of tickets available for people with lots of cash or credit cards or valuables they can sell between now and game time.
Scalping — the reselling of tickets by individuals for more than the purchase price — is illegal in South Carolina unless the seller uses a service (such as Coast-to-Coast Tickets and Ticket City) that refunds buyers in case of event cancellations. That exception has steered quite a bit of traffic to those and other professional resellers. Prices for pairs of tickets ranged from $200 to $2,000 by Wednesday afternoon, while campus parking passes assigned and controlled by IPTAY were going for as much as $500.
“The game is currently StubHub’s fifth-highest-ranked overall college football game for 2013 in terms of ticket sales,” said company spokeswoman Shannon J. Barbara, who is selling to buyers as near as Charlotte, N.C., and as far away as New York. “The game has sold more than the six other (Clemson) home games combined so far in terms of sales, and has already outsold the highest-selling home game from last year (South Carolina).”
The prohibition on private sellers hasn’t stopped people across South Carolina and Georgia from trying to sell their tickets themselves. None of the sellers contacted for this article would admit to cashing in on one of the biggest games in Clemson’s history, save for 1981 National Championship win over Nebraska; rather they cited work or family conflicts. One had “a death in the family” necessitating selling two tickets for $1,000. Another said his parents were too ill to stay out for an 8 p.m. kickoff, so he was selling their seats for $1,500.
Craigslist, the free online bulletin board for anyone wishing to sell anything, is rife with ticket offers. The prices start around $75 each and shoot up over $2,000 for packages including multiple tickets and parking passes. The offers come mostly from Tiger fans, but a few of the Bulldog faithful are selling, too. Some of the listings including extra inducements such as:
$1,300 for “4 Seats together in West Stands, lower deck, in the SHADE, plus parking pass in lot 13. PLUS a collector’s vintage Clemson sticker”;
$1 for “sweet sexy clemson girl — have extra ticket for sweet girl, photo with reply”;
$1,500 for “Clemson vs Georgia 4 ‘DRY’ tickets, parking pass & classic Tiger Paw (which appears online to be a dirty ashtray)”;
$1,200 for “4 Georgia vs Clemson Tickets together. Would like to sale to a DAWG because ‘Clempson’ is going to come out strong.”;
$1,800 for “4 Great lower deck Clemson vs. Georgia Tickets. Tickets are face value. Included in the package is an original 1981 National Championship collector can of ‘Clemson Orange Soda’!!!”
Scalpers are also expected to be out in force around the city and campus Saturday, but University Police Chief Johnson Link was unavailable to comment for this article on just how much attention will be paid to that activity. Link has met almost daily for the last few weeks with other Clemson officials, as well as South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Clemson city police, South Carolina Highway Patrol and other local police agencies, to coordinate security for the game day crowd expected to exceed 200,000, so a significant law enforcement presence is expected in and around campus.