You've seen them if you've ever been to a home game. They lurk around the various gates into Jeld-Wen Field shouting that they're either buying or selling tickets. Unsuspecting fans either sell tickets to them for a fraction of their value (they don't buy at face value) or buy them for prices that are multitudes higher than their worth. It's an unfortunate scenario, but one that the Timbers have to deal with, as it's legal in the state of Oregon.
But that doesn't mean that the fans and supporters have to put up with them. Case in point, the story of Matt Braddock who intervened when one fan was going to buy from a scalper and instead ended up buying a ticket at cost from the Timbers Army's exchange booth. It was a good thing Braddock did, but it wasn't without its own consequences. Per the Willamette Week story:
The scalper and Braddock, 32, exchanged profanities. Braddock, a U.S. Army soldier who lost a leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2005, says he was walking away when another scalper blindsided him with a punch.
I've never noticed myself, but multiple reports from fans that came in after this story say the scalpers were getting more aggressive, to the point where even trying to sell tickets to them at cost has turned into an ordeal.
The unfortunate reality, however, is that there's not much anybody can do. The county has struck down recent attempts to enforce an ordinance banning scalping at city owned venues in the past and a law in Oregon protects their right to do it. Obviously violence is something that's worrisome, but beyond that we're kind of at a loss.
Luckily the Timbers Army has and will continue to fight back for fair ticket prices. Though they'll probably never be fully successful without help from the city, with each week comes a new chance to push back against the scalpers.
I recommend reading the full story on the Willamette Week if you have yet to do so.
What do you think of he scalpers around Jeld-Wen Field? Have you ever confronted or been confronted by them?
[via Willamette Week]