How much would somebody pay to be a Cameron Crazie on the craziest day of the year?
At least one student tried to find out, attempting to sell his spot at the Feb. 13 game against North Carolina for $1,000 on DukeList—a sale that could potentially break the law and violate University honor code. Alex* posted the offer Sunday, and it was up for approximately an hour before he took it down at the request of one of the line monitors, students who police the tenting process and undergraduate admittance to basketball games.
The hour was long enough, though, for somebody to see the post and contact Alex, though he did not ultimately respond to the inquiry.
Head line monitors Bradley Baird and Jackson Lindsey, both seniors, wrote an email to the Krzyzewskiville listserv Monday informing the tenters that selling student seats to the game is both illegal and against Duke Student Government and the University honor code. According to North Carolina statutes, “student tickets issued by institutions of higher education in North Carolina for sporting events” may not be sold online, though online resales are allowed in other cases if the venue allows it.
“I wanted to go on a trip and didn’t have enough money,” Alex said. “I didn’t really expect anybody would want to pay that, and the second option was going to the game, which is a pretty good option.”
Because Alex posted on DukeList, potential inquiries would likely come from within the Duke community. In his post, Alex wrote that he would continue tenting until the final day, after which he and the buyer would switch names on the tent roster.
But another student had their eyes on a bigger prize. Saturday, a student posted on Craigslist with the title “Duke vs. UNC STUDENT SECTION ticket!!!!” The post said they would be willing to sell for “$3,500 or best offer.” The student would give up both their wristband and DukeCard in order to help the purchaser gain admission.
Baird said he had not seen the Craigslist post as of Monday night, and the author of the post did not respond to an inquiry from The Chronicle. Another Craigslist post from Monday offered admittance to the graduate student section, but did not list a price and required that the purchaser have a DukeCard for entry.
This is not the first time this has happened. In 2006, freshman Tristan Patterson tried to sell his ticket online, also for $3,500, and the line monitors kicked him out of line for the game.
Alex was not kicked out of his tent by the line monitors, though they will not be as kind to any other potential violators now that fair warning is out.
“We felt that it could happen to anybody without them realizing it is against the rules, so we wanted to make it clear before any further incidents,” Baird said. “Now that it’s been made clear, students found trying to sell their tickets will be kicked out.”
But there is a price gap between Alex and the Craigslist poster, so who had it right?
The average price to get into this year’s Duke-North Carolina game thus far is $1,169 said Will Flaherty, Trinity ’10, communications director of SeatGeek.com, a website that gathers data from “a hundred different retailers on the secondary market.”
Most of those seats, however, are in the upper bowl of Cameron Indoor Stadium and not lower level, where the student section is. Seats between the baselines in the upper level are selling for between $1,500 and $2,000 on average, Flaherty said, and ones in the upper bowl behind the basket usually sell for at least $1,000.
Because the secondary market for student tickets is so scarce, though, estimates for what they might be worth are difficult to come by.
“The sources we search—there would be no way for somebody to sell a student ticket on that,” Flaherty, a former Chronicle sports reporter, said.
Flaherty guessed a lower level seat between the baselines would be potentially worth upwards of $2,000 with graduate student ones, which are behind the basket, selling for a minimum of $1,000.
Beyond the money issue, though, selling a student ticket violates the spirit of Krzyzewskiville, Baird said, recalling a sentiment expressed in the 2006 incident.
“This is the most disgraceful and greedy act in the history of K-ville,” Lauren Troyer, then-head line monitor, wrote in an email to Patterson and his tent. “Tenting is a time-honored tradition, not a business.”
*Name has been changed for the source’s protection.