The game plan was to get into Game 5 of the World Series for as little as possible. Armed with $75 cash and another couple hundred digital dollars by way of Venmo and PayPal, I set off to Houston. Phone fully charged, chin up, I wasn’t really sure what to expect, this being my inaugural journey into championship game territory.
The Astros have never won a World Series, I’ve never been to one, and New Orleans is close enough to Minute Maid Park that if you’re someone like me you’re absolutely renting a car, zipping west on I-10, and rolling the dice. The scene was pretty bare when I arrived about five and a half hours before the game — which would itself wind up being about 5 and a half hours long.
2:05pm: “I have no idea what the laws are”
Even though ending up in jail would make for a better post, there’s no wifi behind bars, so I wanted to make sure I’d meet my deadline. My first step was checking in with the Houston police officers who were near the ballpark to get the scoop. The first couple of cops had no idea what the actual laws were and when the second pair of cops also had no idea, I took my question online and discovered, from the Houston Press:
In Texas, unsurprisingly, there’s no state law against ticket scalping, and in Houston there is only a city ordinance that makes it illegal to sell them on public property inside city limits without a permit. There’s also no limit on the amount of money a person may try to resell a ticket for, so even if you grew up hearing cautionary tales about the shady business of buying tickets from a scalper, there’s nothing making that line of work illegal.
This non-answer didn’t make me feel better about engaging in conversations with strangers just across the street from the ballpark.