Don’t Interfere with the Sports Pass Free Market

Reader Letters       February 28, 2013 2:16 AMBy:        0 comments

By Steven Crumpley ‘12

VLUU L310 W  / Samsung L310 WWith Texas A&M’s recent move to the Southeastern Conference, sports passes have become more of a commodity than ever before. Using a Facebook group as a means for a marketplace, buyers and sellers of the ever desirable sports passes often bicker about what is a “fair” price.

In years past, sports passes were given away by most students not attending games. This year, many Aggies sold their sports passes for quite the premium for games they couldn’t attend. Due to this, there have been many debates about what is the fair and right thing to do. Many students argue for a free market and the laws of supply and demand while others say that it is not the Aggie way to sell your sports pass for a profit to another student.

I am of the belief that the prices that people are willing to pay for a product is the price that such a product is worth. Students pay $225 for a football only sports pass. If they choose to purchase this pass at the beginning of the season, they then own the rights to pull a student ticket to every Aggie football game played at Kyle Field. It is often the case that a student can’t attend one or more of the home games due to prior plans. It is only fair and just that this student recuperates some of the cost of their sports pass by selling it to someone wanting to attend the game.

The price that this student sells it for should be set by the market. The higher the demand for the game, the higher the price will be. We saw this as the case all season. Missouri sports passes sold for around $30 while LSU and Florida passes fetched upwards of $150. Even so, no one should stop a student from selling his sports pass to the Alabama game next year for $500. The simple fact of the matter is that no sane person would pay that amount. This is the great thing about the free market. Both the buyer and seller must agree on a price for the exchange of goods to occur. This results in satisfaction for both the buyer and the seller.

IMG_0849So why are so many Aggies looking for a handout? Is it that the Obama mentality has infiltrated campus? I am all for charity and believe that it is part of the Aggie Spirit. But, no one should be forced into charity. Likewise, no Aggie should want to take another’s property for free. There is no dignity in that and it certainly doesn’t coincide with the Aggie Honor Code.

When someone steps in to mandate prices, as we often saw folks attempt to do on various social media groups, this only benefits one party. There is no other system in the world that can create such a mutual benefit to both parties as the free market can.

Let’s take a simple example of the student who gets a sports pass for free on a sports pass exchange group. What is to stop this person from later selling the pass for a profit? If the individual didn’t pay for the pass why would he be compelled to attend the game if something else came up?

For a free market to work both parties must receive benefit. Any restrictions on the trade of sports passes will only serve to decrease the number of students going to games. The free market for sports passes maximizes happiness and allows for greater flexibility of schedules and personal finances during football season.

Steven Crumpley, Class of 2012, is a current Finance Graduate Student in Mays Business School’s Professional Program in Accounting.

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