Inside Conditions…Fly by Nighters

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Hey, hey, yeah, what you gonna do? You wanna get down?
Tell me, what you gonna do? Do you wanna get down?
What you gonna do? You wanna get down? (Get your back up off the wall, dance, come on).  Lyrics from the Kool & The Gang smash hit ‘Get Down On It’.

A few weeks ago as I made my way to Heinz Field I was taken aback by the change in scenery. On what I have dubbed “scalpers row” years ago, most of you know it as the plot of real estate that sits adjacent to the Heinz Field near the Rivers Casino. Also included as a part of “hustlers row” are the two blocks leading from Heinz Field or as I call it; “the underground railroad.”

When arriving there you will run into a plethora of ticket purveyors every ten feet or so.  However, on this day the undercover sales economy seemed as if it had dried up almost overnight.

One super salesman who I will only describe as “D” or “Big Dog” said to me; “Mr. Bruce would you believe at this point in the season Penn State tickets are more valuable than Steelers tickets and the Lions are on probation and can’t even go to a bowl game, even if they win out.

I have sold tickets for this game [Ravens at Steelers] at a 60% loss.  I pre-buy the tickets that I sell before the season. It looks like I might be eating bologna and cheese sandwiches, well at least until the baseball season rolls around because the Steelers are not doing my pocket any justice.”

Why would a veteran seller of Steelers wares be in the midst of such an economic crisis with no “stimulus” remedy in sight?”

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