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Friday, November 24, 2006

Ticket scalping c. 1906

The Nov. 24, 1906 NYT reports on the buildup to the Yale-Harvard game, which that year was being played in New Haven. THE GAME had already been elevated to one of the premier games of the year even if they had only been playing for twenty years or so.

After describing the revelry of the current students and recent alums on campus and throughout the town, the article mentions the following:
There is still a great scarcity of tickets, but a few appeared in the hands of street merchants to-night at prices from $5 to $10. The standing offer to undergraduates by the speculators was $5 a seat, without regard to location.
As far as I can determine, the standard price for admission to college games at the time was $0.50, so the street price was perhaps as high as ten to twenty times the face value.For a big game today, it is not unheard of for the street price to be ten to twenty times the face value.

The folks at EH.net suggest that $5 ($10) in 1906 is approximately $112 ($225) in 2005 CPI adjusted dollars. Depending on the team, college football tickets can range from $10 to $65 (or more at times) in face value. The street price might be $500 or $600, however relative to the face value today's premier football games seem to command not much more than the Yale-Harvard game of 100 years ago.

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