Indiana Daily Student

Scalper-Story

Most people walk right past Jeffery while he scalps for tickets, but persistence gets him closer to his goal between $200 and $300 for each game. "You'll get 15,000 no's before you hear a yes," Jeffery said. "You can't be sensitive in this business."

Part V

It’s another Saturday in late November. Last game of the year. Since the starting quarterback got hurt, IU has lost five straight games.

Jeffery walks by Memorial Stadium to get to his usual street corner. University policy prohibits ticket scalping on campus grounds, so when he walks through the parking lots he abides by the policy and places his sign under his shirt, until he reaches the south side of 17th St. The more he looks like a casual fan, the less he will be hassled while on campus gronds.

Part IV

With a lull in foot traffic, Dirty sees another chance to tease the King. “Do you know what Paul said to Santa Claus?” Dirty asks, already laughing. The King scoffs and waves Dirty off. “He said, ‘Do you have change for a quarter?’” The King growls. Putting up with Dirty and other scalpers is one reason the King is getting out.


Jeffrey stands in his kitchen in Indianapolis, drinking 2 cups of Folger's coffee before starting his day.

Part III

In his Indianapolis apartment seven weeks later, Jeffrey picks up a half-smoked cigarette from his ashtray.

"Dirty" gets his name for being loud, obnoxious and flirtatious with the women he encounters while trying to conduct business. "Want to know my real name? Dirty as the come," he said, laughing heavily.

Part II

Scalping tickets at IU football games has never been easy. Demand is always low to see a team that has been so bad for so long it has become a punch line.


Indianapolis native Brian Stapleton, 50, awaits ticket buyers on Indiana Ave. before IU's homecoming football game against Michigan State. Stapleton, known more by his alias, Jeffery, has been scalping tickets for 18 years, and often ventures to Bloomington in hopes of making a profit, even though ticket sales for IU football are worst in the Big Ten. The ticket scalper on the street corner is a dying breed, as online sites like Stubhub and Ticketmaster are making scalping obsolete.

Sold, not told

On a misty Saturday morning, the scalper stands at his corner, the stadium looming behind him. He’s right at the edge.


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