By Alfred Branch, Jr.
Police busted a pair of alleged ticket scalpers Tuesday within a half-mile of where the College World Series is being played in Omaha, NE, marking the latest attempt by the NCAA to strike out ticket reselling.
According to Omaha police, Chavet Sikes of Holdrege, NE, and Jack Cope of Anderson, IN, were charged with scalping after police, acting on a tip, executed a search warrant at a home near Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. Authorities allegedly confiscated $900 in cash and at least 60 tickets for the current College World Series. The Sikes and Cope arrests were two of several reported by Omaha police this year at the tournament.
Ticket scalping is legal in Nebraska except within half a mile of a stadium. The NCAA, however, takes dim view of scalping to any of its events, which led to a large-scale sting operation outside of an NCAA “March Madness” basketball game in Winston-Salem, NC earlier this year.
The specter of ticket scalping, and the potential loss of revenue, led the NCAA to strike a deal with RazorGator.com allowing fans to resell tickets without penalty at that site. Fans caught scalping NCAA tickets are banned from future events.
Tuesday was not the first time the arrested men have tangled with police, as both have been busted for scalping on separate occasions between 2004 and 2006, according to the Omaha World-Herald newspaper.