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Ticket Brokers and Rose Bowl

January 18, 1994

* We are back home in Wisconsin where the weather is cold, the air is clean, the water can be drunk, and people who sign a contract don't swindle their customers.

I am a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. When the Wisconsin Badgers beat Michigan State in Tokyo, I booked five Rose Bowl tours for myself, my wife, and my three sons, all University of Wisconsin students.

My family was looking forward to the "trip of a lifetime," a little California dreamin' going on around Christmastime. We wanted to see our beloved Badgers play your Bruins in the 80th Rose Bowl.

You cannot believe the incredible sadness and disgust my family experienced when we were told we had no tickets. We were guaranteed five tickets when we left Madison, but had our dreams destroyed by your ticket brokers.

I paid our $6,000 to bring my family to your city to watch the Rose Bowl. Instead I spent the week full of stress and in a search with seedy and unethical people to attempt to secure five additional tickets that I had already paid for but never received. Finally on Dec. 31, I secured five tickets from a broker for the astronomical sum of $2,750. I am not wealthy, but my back was against the wall at the eleventh hour, as were about 10,000 Wisconsin fans.

Scalping tickets is illegal in Wisconsin. Violating a contract is illegal in Wisconsin. The way we were treated is disgusting and should be a crime.

Our dream trip was turned into a trip from hell.

People of Los Angeles, come visit us in Wisconsin some day. You can see our beautiful lakes and forests, meet our friendly people, drink our water and breathe our clean air.

But, the most important thing, if we make a deal with you, we'll keep our word; we just don't treat people here the way we were treated in your city.

DENNIS A. RUSKIN

Marshall, Wis.

* This letter is in response to a letter from Lance Keller, general manager of Murray's Tickets (Jan. 11). He claims several ticket agencies lost a great deal of money on the Rose Bowl. Lost money? Didn't make as much as they'd like is closer to the truth. Ticket brokering has been making it impossible to get front-row tickets at a reasonable price for years. First they send out dozens, sometimes hundreds of employees to various stores where tickets are initially sold. Then the ticket agencies resell the monopolized tickets for four times the cost of the ticket. Front-row seats can cost even more; only the well-off can sit there. In short, maybe it's time for the ticket agencies to be regulated.

ROBERT SILVERMAN

Reseda

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