Scalpers, by definition, resell tickets at multiples of face value. Boston scalpers, perhaps having failed math, have marked up ostensibly free tickets by some magic factor that turns zero dollars into: lots of money.
Since they've got a rink set up for New Year's Winter Classic, Boston figured it'd be a spectacular opportunity to let regular people skate too. Making it even better, they wouldn't charge a thing. But supply could never equal demand for something this cool, so the city handed out a limited number of tickets over the weekend, first-come, first-serve.
And as usually happens, scalpers first-came.
So now the tickets are available to you, the regular schmoe who couldn't wait hours in the cold. On eBay and Craigslist, for as much as $450 a pop.
Bill Zeoli, a 44-year-old from the South End, waited in line first at the Blackstone School in the South End for close to two hours, then in Chinatown for nearly two hours, and still didn't get tickets.
But Zeoli, who for years ran a pushcart outside Fenway Park and still goes to Red Sox games regularly, said he recognized some of Fenway's regular scalpers among the moms and dads waiting in line with their children, and already thought the worst.
"There were absolutely scalpers that I've seen for years and years and years," he said. Zeoli said he doesn't regret not getting tickets. He went just for the memories of what he called a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But he said he feels for the youth hockey players who never got tickets.
It's one of the truisms of life: if they're something you want, someone will find a way to make you pay for it.
Here's a compromise: let regular Bostonians take the ice instead of the Flyers on Jan. 1. Their chances of salvaging a point are probably just as good.
Scalpers Cloud Free Skating At Fenway [Boston Globe]