Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Fan Harassment 101

Competing for the sports dollar? Then you might not want to have your customers arrested:

A 2-year-old Seattle ordinance that was meant to control peanut and T-shirt vendors working the area around Safeco and Qwest fields was instead used primarily to catch people selling Mariners and Seahawks tickets.

More than 100 citations for ticket selling were issued by off-duty police officers hired by the two sports teams, using the city's mobile-vending ordinance. Only two citations clearly involved ticket scalping, or charging more than face value, according to data supplied by the city's transportation department, which administers the ordinance.

....The mobile-vending ordinance, last modified in September 2003, requires vendors to obtain street-use permits to sell on streets surrounding Safeco and Qwest fields. It also bans any selling near the ticket windows.
....An analysis of 146 citations issued under the mobile-vending ordinance shows that 109 — about three out of four issued since the law took effect in September 2003 — were for ticket selling.

....The citations, which carry a $150 penalty for first-time offenders, were issued by off-duty undercover officers hired by the Mariners and the Seahawks. Collectively, the sellers received fines totaling more than $124,000....

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