Unfortunately, Super Bowl XV won't be as profitable for Mark as Super Bowl XIV was. "I had a big contact in Pittsburgh," he says, "and remember, the Rose Bowl has about 30,000 more seats than the Superdome. There were more tickets floating around last year than this year. I had 36 tickets last year and had so many ads in so many papers all around the country that for two weeks my phone was ringing constantly. I'd hang up the phone, it'd ring. Eight in the morning, 10 at night, it was always ringing. Most of the calls were from L.A., but one guy called from Alaska. It all ended the Tuesday before the game. I had to wrap everything up and send the tickets out by registered mail—after I got paid, of course." Mark says he lost 24 pounds during the two weeks it took him to get top dollar for his 36 tickets, but he also gained $4,000—good gas money.
As for this year's game, Mark says he had fewer than a dozen tickets to move. "I wish they wouldn't play the game in New Orleans," he says. Or as another scalper put it, " Rozelle ought to pass a law that they'll only play the Super Bowl in stadiums with at least 100,000 seats."
For his part, Rozelle says that his office will investigate all suggestions that NFL owners scalped tickets, legally or illegally. He also says that when the owners hold their annual meeting in March in Hawaii, he hopes to introduce tough new NFL laws designed to better control the movement of Super Bowl tickets. So far, though, no one has suggested a bulletproof plan; one remedy Rozelle laughs off is the recommendation that he hire 100 house detectives and have them seek out stool pigeons on each club. Indeed, there may be no answer.
Rozelle is faced with a traditional American enterprise (scalping) and a classic Economics I equation—the price of a commodity will rise to its proper level. Maybe Mark put it best. "There are a lot of rich people in this country," he said. "The high rollers always want to go where the action is. And to them, money is nothing."