12.04.06

Greedy Pats Sack Smerlas’ Smogasborg

Posted in Gridiron, Sports Radio at 1:45 pm by

New England’s gripes with StubHub were already noted in this space, but now, the Patriots have extended their assault on the ticket reselling biz to the money-spinning efforts of local legend / fashion plate Fred Smerlas (above, left). From the Boston Globe’s Bruce Mohl.

The team is revoking nearly 40 season tickets belonging to former Patriot player Fred Smerlas, who was selling them as part of tailgate packages costing $625 to $750.

Smerlas sells a food and beverage tailgate package at Patriots home games for $250, while a nearly identical plan with parking and a game ticket included costs $625, according to Smerlas’s website, Patriotstailgate.com. In effect, Smerlas charges an extra $375 for a parking space and a game ticket with a face value of $125. Smerlas said the website information is somewhat misleading because prices fluctuate, and tailgate packages are often sold as part of broader sponsorship packages.

The Patriots have revoked tickets occasionally in the past, but Smerlas is no anonymous fan. He grew up in Waltham and attended Boston College, where he was a cocaptain of the football team and later inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame.

Smerlas said WEEI radio personality Glenn Ordway is a “working partner” in the tailgate business. A photo of the sports radio talk show star is featured on All Pro’s homepage alongside one of Smerlas, under the heading “Party With The Big Boys.” The website describes the pair as the “hosts” of the tailgate party.

Guests are greeted with hors d’oeuvres and served drinks and raw oysters. The gourmet meal varies from week to week, but features stations offering everything from roast beef to scallops and shrimp. Customers have the opportunity to get autographs and pictures taken with Smerlas, Ordway, and former Patriots players.

9 Responses to “Greedy Pats Sack Smerlas’ Smogasborg”

  1. Wes says:

    Is that Jeff Kent on the right or an unnamed gay porn star?

  2. kt says:

    Customers have the opportunity to get autographs and pictures taken with Smerlas, Ordway, and former Patriots players.

    pictures and autographs from smerlas AND glen ordway??!?? worth every penny of that $375.

  3. Shut Out Fan says:

    If the Pats are willing to do this to famous fans, what chance does and average season ticketholder have to get some of their money back? Freddy got these tickets before the Pats were any good when they were happy to get any sale. Now that they sell out and regular fans have no chance to get tickets they are trying to corner the market??

  4. kt says:

    hey shut out, i’ve been on the pats season ticket waiting list since ’95 (despite moving a thousand miles away), i see nothing wrong with the pats taking FORTY season tickets away from one person.

    scalping is still illegal in massachusetts, right?

  5. Don says:

    The headline said “Greedy Pats” and I looked at the photo and said, is that Pat Fear? Indeed it was.

  6. Shut Out Fan says:

    kt, they didn’t take his tickets away because he had 40, despite your envy (and mine). Lots of people and companies have multiples of tickets. The Pats know – they sold them. That’s not against the law or their policy. If Freddy would have sold the tickets through their “approved” exchange at “face value” (plus the $100 A TICKET they charge you to be on the waiting list and have the right to use the exchange) and then sold the “experience” separately, he would still have his tickets even though the end result would have been the same. This is just the team flexing its muscles on a technicality to throw a scare into all of us. And why not, since you and thousands of others are on their waiting list to replace current season ticketholders who don’t toe the line?

  7. Matty says:

    I agree with this Pats fan from Attleboro who has a better dictionary than me.

    Matty

    Un-American act by the Patriots
    Mike Kirby, Editor
    Sun-Chronicle

    Robert Kraft is a rich businessman. I have never had a conversation with him, but I’m willing to bet he is a believer in the free enterprise system. But Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, the New England Revolution and Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, wants to restrict how much money you can make on something you own.
    What’s wrong with this picture?
    What’s wrong is the state’s anti-scalping law, the law which says you can’t sell tickets for a profit after you have purchased them. Name me something else you can’t sell for a profit. A car? A power saw? A couch?
    No, you can sell just about everything for a profit – except tickets.
    And Kraft wants to keep it that way. The Patriots earlier this month filed suit against one of the nation’s largest resellers, StubHub, Inc., saying the company encourages fans to flout the anti-scalping law and the team’s prohibition against against reselling tickets for a profit by facilitating the sale of tickets on its web site, StubHub.com. More than 50 Patriots season ticket-holders were also sued for selling their tickets on StubHub.
    Now, an anti-scalping law might seem like a good thing, doing away with all the shady figures who loom by the gates of entertainment venues whispering “Need tickets?” But that is not what Kraft is after here. He’s after Patriots fans – the fans who have filled his stadium year after year since he bought the team – and their money.
    It seems to me that in order to commit a crime, there has to be a victim. Who’s the victim in ticket scalping? The Patriots agree to sell tickets to a season-ticketholder for X amount of money. Season ticketholder advertises the ticket, gets an offer from someone for Y amount of money. Deal. Seems like everyone should be happy.
    And lots of people apparently are eager to sell – and buy – tickets at inflated prices because resales have boomed in the era of the Internet. Industry sources estimate annual ticket resales at $10 billion, with giants such as StubHub, eBay, Craigslist, and a host of smaller agencies and Web sites reselling millions of tickets.
    The Patriots will argue that they want to keep unscrupulous sellers from selling tickets to seats that don’t really exist or from jacking up prices.
    I don’t have a problem with punishing scam artists selling bogus tickets. Great. Toughen the laws and lock up the crooks. The same goes for fans who buy resold tickets, then cause problems at the stadium. Toss out the rowdies and revoke the season tickets of the person who sold them.
    But why shouldn’t someone who wants to pay $500 or $1,000 or more for seats be allowed to buy them? I’m perfectly content to stay home and watch the Patriots on TV, but if someone else wants to mortgage the farm to go to a football game, so be it. It’s their money.
    And I especially can not comprehend why someone who has tickets can not resell them for a profit. It’s not hurting the buyer, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out how it’s hurting the Patriots.
    It’s against free enterprise, and it’s downright un-American.
    The bottom line is control. Robert Kraft wants control of ticket sales, and all the money that involves. He wants to make more money, and he wants to prevent his own fans from making some.
    Robert Kraft is certainly a smart businessman, but in this case he’s just being a bully.

  8. Charlie says:

    Un doubtedly Mr Kraft is a business man, and a pretty god one to boot. But what most people fail to see is in order to continue to operat at a profit they need to be vigilant in their persuit of these additional monies that are to be made. If I were wanting tickets I may agree with your opinion However remember Mr Kraft was forced to build the new stadium with his own money. Not public money as most other teams recieve nationwide. How else can they make up the addional revenues? This is why ticket prices are the highest. So its a trade off I am sure I f Mr Smrelas were to work a deal with the Kraft Family the outcome would be different
    I see no bullying here just an attempt to gain additonal revenue. And I believe the tickets are actually licenses, and the purchaser aggrees not to resell the tickets as part of their contract with the Patriots (beyond face value)

    Nobody asked just my opinion

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