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Ace in the hole

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  August 17, 2010 08:45 AM

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Color me intrigued, but today's Globe runs a story about scalpers feeling the pinch, and only a brief, obligatory mention of legalized scalper Ace Tickets?

Robert Mays writes in 104 words:

Some blame Ace Tickets, the secondary ticketing company that set up an office on Brookline Ave. five years ago.

"Ace Tickets, they're the real scalpers," the silver-haired man in the Red Sox jersey says as he walks away after declining to be further interviewed.

But Ace Tickets charges similar prices to the scalpers for similar seats, and, contrary to what some scalpers claim, the owner of the company, Jim Holzman, says it has no priority access to tickets, simply re-selling tickets sold to it, often by season-ticket holders. Ace, too, has been left holding tickets this season, sometimes as many as 100 per game.

And...that's it. The other 1,162 words deal with those illegal dirtbags finding it difficult to re-sell their lot of Red Sox tickets. But don't worry, legal guy Holzman is here to tell you he's feeling the pinch too. Consecutive sellout No. 607 tonight vs. the Angels.

Holzman tells Mays that his company has no priority access to tickets from across the street at Fenway Park, which may or may not be the case. All I know is that Massachusetts state law tells me that I can't sell my box seat for more than I paid for it and that Holzman is apparently above this state law judging by the $45 bleacher seats (normally $28 according to official Red Sox ticket re-seller www.redsox.com) he has available for tonight on his legalized scalping web site. I also know that the Red Sox sellout policy has more loopholes than the "Lost" series finale.

But you know...whatever.

I may or may not be sure that Holzman relies solely on his web site and advertising to sell the remainder of his 100 tickets per night to sold out Fenway Park, and would never, ever think that his office, being within such proximity of the old ball yard, might send an intern or two into the streets to hawk a few ducats to that night's sold out contest. Why would that cross anyone's mind?

And I'm sure if he did, said intern would be wearing an "Ace Tickets, official re-seller of the Boston Red Sox" smock just so there was no confusion. Right?

Just for fun, we went back to the March 8, 2008 edition of Boston.com, to read about how the Red Sox struck a deal with Ace (financial terms not disclosed) to be their official re-seller. Jenn Abelson wrote:

Under the Red Sox' old Replay system, subject to the Massachusetts antiscalping law, resale prices were limited to $2 above face value plus some business and service charges, including a 24 percent fee for handling the resale. There is currently proposed legislation in the Massachusetts State House that would change the antiscalping law.

"You're not supposed to be selling tickets above face value," said State Senator Michael W. Morrissey, a Quincy Democrat and cochairman of the Legislature's Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee, which is looking at the proposal to end the state's ban on ticket scalping. "But the struggle we're having right now is if we put too many controls and constraints on the resale of tickets, we're just going to chase people to New Hampshire and Rhode Island where they continue to do business without any safeguards."

Almost 900 days later it's still see no evil, hear no evil when it comes to legalized scalping.

The Red Sox love to boast about their ridiculous sellout streak at Fenway Park and scalpers are losing their shirts with hundreds of unsold tickets. Hmm.

Just saying.

Ace has tickets for Saturday's game against the Blue Jays starting at $72.

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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