Craigslist lights up with Obama tickets as University of Michigan runs out
The market for tickets to President Barack Obama’s University of Michigan commencement address is about to kick into high gear.
The university said this afternoon it is no longer distributing tickets, which means members of the general public hoping to score seats are out of luck.
Unless, of course, they turn to illicit means.
Not surprisingly, Ann Arbor’s Craigslist page is getting overwhelmed with posts from sellers willing to part with their commencement tickets at a steep cost. The price point seems to be hovering in the range of about $50 apiece.
That’s sure to rankle the university, which earlier this month delivered a stark warning to prospective scalpers, reminding them that scalping tickets is a misdemeanor under state law.
"It is expected that students only will take the tickets needed for
family and friends, and that they will not sell them. These tickets are
considered the property of U-M, and therefore, are not to be sold.
University policy states: 'Any attempt to sell, resell, donate or
otherwise exchange commencement tickets for anything of value will
result in your ticket(s) being revoked,'" the university said in a press release earlier this month.
(According to a state statute, it’s illegal to sell event tickets at a cost higher than the original price. In this case, that means it’s illegal to sell them at all, since the university is distributing them for free. The university could choose to authorize a resale entity to sell tickets at an upcharge, but the university is not doing that.)
Some people are taking a legally questionable route selling tickets. Like this poster:
"Pencils (W/ free Obama tickets) - $1 (Ann Arbor )," one poster writes.
Still others are seeking out tickets.
Contact AnnArbor.com’s Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or email@example.com or follow him on Twitter. You can also subscribe to AnnArbor.com Business Review's weekly e-newsletter and the breaking business news e-newsletter.