There are many great things about Minnesota. The beautiful lakes, that hilarious regional accent, and more lakes. But something else is about to make Minnesota even greater.
In what can best be described as a noble social experiment, or capitalism at its absolute worst, scalping is now almost 100% legal in Minnesota.
The bill to legalize scalping passed by a vote of 124-8 earlier this week in the Minnesota House and the Governor has said he will sign it into law today. As soon as that happens, anyone in Minnesota can sell tickets for above face value, including grandmas on the sidewalk. I'm sure this makes 35-year old Vinny who still lives at home with Mom and showers once a week very happy.
Rep. Phyllis Kahn from Minneapolis said the scalping law wasted police resources on victimless transactions. Kahn said the old law represented "the worst kind of socialist interference with the free market."
Proponents of the bill say legal competition could bring some ticket prices down. And scalping laws haven't capped soaring street prices for high-demand tickets anyway.
As you can imagine, many fans of Minnesota sports teams are far from thrilled.
One woman complained that legalizing scalping will mean "good-bye to box-office prices forever" because "scalpers will buy up all the seats and then sell them for twice the price or more." That may be true. But with with Kevin Garnett having just been traded, the Twins mired in third place, and the Vikings being the Vikings, somehow I don't think ticket prices are going to rise all that much.
Just in case you'd like to see the Simpsons version of scalping, here you go.