Scalping is legal

In simple terms, scalping occurs when someone offers to sell tickets to sporting events, concerts or anything else that requires a ticket for admission at a price higher than the face value.

For the last 18 years, scalping has been illegal in Missouri. But with the advent of online ticket sales, it is easy to find tickets to almost any event, even at the last minute, for a price. Tickets for the Nov. 24 Missouri-Kansas football faceoff in Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium could be purchased the day of the game, according to an advertisement in The Kansas City Star, if you were willing to cough up some extra cash.

Gov. Matt Blunt supported legislation passed by this year's special session of the Missouri Legislature as one part of his overall economic development package. The new law also was supported by major sports organizations in the state as a way to meet demand for tickets.

In the end, that's what scalping is: paying whatever price it takes to strike a bargain between seller and buyer.

As of last Wednesday, scalping is no longer illegal in Missouri. Good. Sellers and buyers alike can barter over tickets without fear of being chased down by police and prosecutors. The next time you see someone in front of a stadium offering seats on the 50-yard line or behind home plate instead of the nosebleed seats you already have, you can decide whether you want to spend the money without having to look over your shoulder for someone with a badge.