Ticket scalpers congregating in stadium parking lots and sidewalks are familiar sites to sports fans and concert goers. Stadium and venue owners often object to scalpers because scalpers compete with legitimate ticket resellers and thereby reduce profits from ticket sales. Patrons sometimes complain about scalpers getting in their faces or obstructing sidewalks when trying to hawk tickets.
Los Angeles, it turns out, has had enough with “prolific scalpers” hawking tickets around Dodger Stadium, L.A. Memorial Coliseum, Staples Center, Nokia Center, and several other local venues. The L.A. Times reports that the Los Angeles City Attorney recent requested an injunction against 17 professional ticket scalpers who have been arrested multiple times for scalping. Under California law, it is a misdemeanor to sell tickets above face value or to sell tickets on a public street. City officials claim that, despite fines and enforcement efforts, the city has not managed to reduce ticket scalping.
In the complaint, the city claims that the scalpers engage in “nuisance activity” and “unlawful business practices.” The city alleges that the scalpers act as a magnet for theft, robbery, violent crimes, and drug sales and use. In addition, the city claims that the scalpers endanger both drivers and pedestrians by snarling traffic.
Under the injunction, the 17 professional scalpers would be required to stay at least 100 yards away from the major venues. A 25-square city block no-scalping zone would also surround each venue. Violators would be subject to enhanced penalties, including six months in jail and/or $2,500 in fines.