By Bruce Mohl, Globe Staff
Two ticket scalpers are going legit. Fred Smerlas, the former NFL star who got into hot water with the New England Patriots last year after reselling Pats tickets at steep markups as part of game-day tailgate packages, has obtained a state license to resell tickets. So has Donald E. Foley Jr. of West Roxbury. For years, Foley resold tickets illegally on the streets around Fenway Park, but this year he applied for a reseller’s license and now operates the Foley Ticket Agency out of his home. . .
“I’m off the street now,” Foley said. “I’m doing it legitimately.” Smerlas did not return phone calls, but he presumably got his reseller’s license to ease Patriot concerns about his tailgate business. The Patriots last year revoked an undisclosed number of Smerlas’s 38 season tickets for “violations of team policies.”
The team declined to specify the violations, but the Patriots prohibit season ticket holders from reselling their tickets to third parties except through the team’s own ticket exchange, where sellers are required to charge face value. Smerlas also changed the pricing of his Twin River All-Pro Celebrity Tailgate packages so that game tickets are now sold, at least on paper, at face value.
The tailgate is held in a heated tent on the back lot of the Rodman Collision Center across Route 1 from Gillette Stadium. Guests are treated to hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and oysters as well as a gourmet meal. Customers have the opportu nity to get autographs and pictures taken with Smerlas, WEEI radio personality Glenn Ordway, and former Patriots players.
Last season, Smerlas’s website, Patriotstailgate.com, offered a basic food and beverage tailgate package for $250. A nearly identical package with parking and a $125 game ticket included cost $375 more, or a total of $625.
This season the package prices are nearly identical, but the tailgate components have been shuffled so the ticket is being sold at face value.
The basic food and beverage tailgate still costs $250 this season, but there’s a new $500 package that includes the basic tailgate plus parking, a VIP gift, and an ad in a program guide. A $125 game ticket can be added to the $500 package, bringing the total to $625.
Full Story: http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2007/08/12/ex_scalpers_appear_to_beat_the_system_by_joining_it/