Police Focus On Busting Professional Scalpers At ACC Tournament
Posted March 4, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
GREENSBORO — As fans enjoyed Thursday night's start of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, folks were standing around outside, trying to nab tickets. And, among those ticket-hungry fans was a sprinkling of undercover police officers, trying to put ticket scalpers out of business.
In North Carolina, it's illegal to buy or sell a ticket that is priced at more than three dollars over the face value. The reminders boom over loudspeakers in the coliseum, and they're printed above the ticket section in the local classifieds.
Nonetheless, professional ticket scalpers come to the ACC Tournament to cash in. Undercover officers come to keep the scalpers out. Greensboro police Captain Bill Stafford says that his guys are not targeting for the person who is just trying to get rid of an extra ticket. They're after the big guys -- those who make a living at scalping.
Though it is illegal, police are putting the crime into perspective. Stafford admits that it's not a very serious offense, and chances are that you won't be put in the clink for it.
But, the risk is worth the reward for some people at the tournament. Mark Nicolai is looking for tickets, and he says that there shouldn't be a law dictating how much for which someone may sell a ticket.
Buyers are not usually busted, although their money and tickets are usually confiscated. Five folks were arrested for scalping Thursday night.