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Thinking of scalping your tickets to an Oklahoma City Thunder game or the upcoming Red Hot Chili Peppers concert outside the Chesapeake Energy Arena? Think again, said Oklahoma City Council members on April 17. But step outside a designated bumper zone that rings the arena, and let the open market take over.
The council voted unanimously to draw an invisible line around the arena up to the door of the Cox Convention Center on the north, E.K. Gaylord Boulevard on the east, Ron Norick Boulevard on the west and halfway across the old Interstate 40 on the south, should anyone happen to be hanging out on the abandoned bridge seeking tickets to an evening with the Avett Brothers. In that zone, ticket scalping is now illegal and violators are subject to a $500 fine for a Class A offense, and $1,200 for subsequent offenses.
In addition to the buffer zone, council members approved a measure to repeal a 30-year-old law limiting the markup on scalped to tickets to 50 cents over face value. Outside the zone it’s a free-for-all, with sellers able to name their price with no threat of legal action.
The city does, however, encourage ticket buyers to make their purchases through authorized sources such as the arena box office and Homeland stores so that no one unknowingly buys a ticket to yesterdays game.
Tom Anderson, special projects manager for the city, said buffer zones are a common site in many cities.“The zone helps protect event goers from possibly purchasing fraudulent tickets or mistakenly paying more than the box office charges,” he said.