Scalping tickets is a pain in the butt, but what if we could take the simple, rational investment principles of the modern stock market and bring them to the ticket resale market? You'll need to start by grabbing your ankles.
A new company called OptionIT is developing a system of ticket "options" where fans don't buy tickets, they buy the option to buy those tickets. And they, in turn, can buy and sell those options many times over. When the ticket actually goes on sale, the person who owns the option gets the guaranteed right to buy the ticket at face value, plus whatever they paid for the option.
But here's the kicker—every time the option gets sold, the team issuing the ticket option gets a cut. So let's say for example, I want to go to the NFC Championship Game next January, since the Lions will be hosting it at Ford Field. The Lions could start selling "options" now, for say $10 a piece. (Every option will be backed up by an actual ticket in the future.) So Drew buys the option for $10, then sells it to Tommy for $15. Tommy sells it to Nash for $30, who sells it to A.J. for $50, then in December, I buy it from A.J. for $75. When the tickets actually go on sale, I now have the guaranteed right to buy the ticket at face value from the Lions ... who already made 8.5% on each of the previous five transactions. (It's actually a 17% fee, paid by both buyer and seller and split between the team and OptionIt.) And if I don't exercise the option in time, the Lions simply sell the ticket to someone else and keep the difference.
If that sounds suspiciously like scalping, that's because it is. The difference is that teams are now scalping their own tickets and promising that you won't have to argue about section numbers with some scary looking guy on the corner five minutes before kickoff. Why should he get all that money when it could go straight to the Lions?
Someone obviously figured out that stock brokers are simply street hustlers in better suits and that maybe giant corporations that sell $8 beers need a new revenue stream to rape their customers with. Everybody wins! Except you!
So the future of sports will the present of Wall Street. That dude in Denver who wears a barrel for clothes is just ahead of the curve.