Anyone selling tickets?
In 1995 the Seattle Mariners made the playoffs for the first time in their team history and for one of the games I had an extra ticket so I thought the best thing to do was go down to the Kingdome and sell it. I was not out to make money off of the extra ticket, all I was really looking for was the face value plus maybe enough money to get a King beer or a playoff program and scorecard so I guess I was asking for extra money but not for $20 over face value or anything like that. As my luck would have it a group of people started to bid me up on the price of the ticket. Once a price was reached one of the guys was huddled around pulled out a badge of the Seattle Police department and told me he was going to have to write me up for ticket scalping. He then went on to write me out just a warning and although he had taken my ticket he gave it back to me. My argument was that I was not trying to make a living or profit off of my ticket and I was not competing with the box office since the game was already sold out. He went on to tell me that making any type of ticket transaction on Kingdome property was illegal. In fact you had to be something like three blocks away from the parking lot before it became legal to sell tickets for face value. As luck would have it that day I went and found the guy who was interested in buying my ticket and we were still able to make the transaction. After that I was very aware of where I sold my ticket. A few years back the M’s set up a site where season ticket holders could sell their tickets. I have to admit that I am a bit unclear where it is currently legal to sell tickets for M’s games. I always see the same scalpers set up just across the street from the box office on the corner that the parking garage is on. There are police officers there to stop traffic and help people cross so I have to assume that it is legal there or the police would have a field day with those guys. A few years back the M’s set up a website where season ticket holders could sell there tickets for an asking price but it did not work if your registered address with the team was in the Seattle city limits due to the scalping laws. I was happy to see in the Seattle Times on Saturday that the city council has decided to lift the 62 year ban on selling a ticket for more than face value. What is left is for the Mayor Nickles to sign the change into law. They key thing about the change is that for someone like me in 1995 what I did would have been legal. For the scalpers that are there every day they still need to register as a business and have a license to do so.
Send me some wine.
On the font page of today’s Seattle Times there is a write up on the Supreme Courts decision 5-4 that overturns laws in Michigan and New York that banned wineries from out of the state from shipping wine to those states while they did not ban shipping from their state to other states. This is great news to me. If you wanted to ship wine to someone outside of Washington you first had to figure out if they were in a state that had a reciprocal agreement to do the same which was only 12 states. Currently there are 24 states that ban out of state shipping outright. This also affected friends that would come visit and want to have wine shipped home. There have been times when I have had to drive over to a winery and pick up a case and personally ship it to them using Fedex but now they can call and order great wine without me being the middle man. Hopefully one day we can get agreements with other countries. It seems odd to me that we have these type of limits. I talked to a guy once who was living in Israel but he took a tech job in the Seattle area. Outside of the electronics that were really not compatible between the two countries he had to sell off and drink as part of a big party his whole wine cellar. There was a ban, or rather a very limiting quota, on how much alcohol he could import into the country as part of moving his whole life and home to the states. Personally I have tried to send wine from a Washington state winery to a friend in London but they just could not do it. It just makes no sense to me.