I go into downtown Washington DC about 3 or 4 times a month, and long ago I learned to never to park on the street. Why? Because it is almost a guarantee that one will get a ticket.
The District makes it as difficult as possible to find a space, and once one is found the city even makes it harder to pay the meter. They have these meter stations which one pays with a credit card, but half the time it’s impossible to figure out whether one is paying for oneself of someone else’s car.
Don’t park on the street in DC. Take it from me. One time after I’d just started working near Capitol Hill years ago I came back after work to find my car gone. I looked around. I was pretty sure no one was interested in my old Ford Contour. I saw a guy in overalls and a hard hat getting into a truck. The truck had a DC seal on the door.
“Hey man,” I said. “Have you seen a green Ford Contour by any chance?”
“Yeah,” he said as he slid into his seat.
“We had to repave the road here.” He pointed to the ground. “We towed a bunch of cars down the road. 4 blocks.”
“Thanks” I said. And he drove off.
I did find my car, and it was in no worse shape than it was that morning thankfully. But had I not stopped the guy from getting into his truck I would have had no idea what had happened. And even at that point in my Washington career I knew the police wouldn’t be any help.
So take this advice. Don’t park on the street in DC.
“This is pure unadulterated exploitation of motorists. D.C. couldn’t get the commuter tax it wanted. So it makes it exceedingly hard to find parking, then you fine them for overstayed at the meter,” says Townsend.
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Rolling Stones tickets remain unsold after price hike
Hundreds of tickets for the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary gigs remained unsold on Sunday night as touts were accused of pricing fans out of the market.
By Victoria Ward5:52PM GMT 25 Nov 2012
Just hours before the band took to the stage at London’s O2 Arena, scores of tickets for the veteran rockers’ first performance in five years were still available online for up to £1,300.
Agencies and individual touts hoping to profit by snapping up the tickets at face value before selling them at vastly inflated prices found that fans simply refused to pay, leaving the band facing the prospect of playing to a far from sell-out crowd.
A Rolling Stones spokesman told the Daily Telegraph: “It’s a real shame that fans have been prevented from buying tickets at the original price and that secondary marketing agencies are attempting to profit. The band does not participate in anything of this nature.”
Tickets for both Sunday night’s gig and a second to be held on Thursday, went on sale last month for between £106 and £406, including booking fees.
Hospitality packages were also available for those wishing to stand in the "tongue pit" in front of the stage – based on the band’s classic tongue and lips logo – for £1,140 including VAT.
However, many standard seating tickets remained on sale last night for up to eight times their face value.
On Viagogo, 33 tickets were on sale for prices ranging from £226 to £650 each. But potential buyers were charged up to £97.50 as an additional booking fee as well as handling and VAT fees, taking the cost of one top-price ticket to £771.95.
Double8 was advertising tickets costing between £325 and £795 but claimed the high prices reflected the “extremely high” face value.
Touts selling tickets via another website, Stubhub, were demanding up to £1,200 for just one ticket said to be worth £375 in Row U and others were asking for up to £1,750 for two tickets via the website GetMeIn!
Many more were available on sites such as eBay.
Despite the prevalence of available tickets, the band’s spokesman insisted there would be no empty seats. “The sellers won’t risk being out of pocket, they’ll come down and sell them on the night,” he said.
Sir Mick Jagger, 69, disclosed last week that if the gigs go well they will do more next year, although he admitted he could not find the energy he once had.
“When you’re professionals if there are cracks you paper over them,” he told the BBC. “When you are 19 you do things that you can’t do at my age. But I still try to make the show as energetic as I can make it.”
The band are reportedly being paid around £16 million for the two London concerts and two US dates in Newark, New Jersey, in December.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:39 pm
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Ticket touts disgrace: Row upon row of empty seats… as tickets sent to foreign VIPs go on the black market
Large areas of empty seats seen in stadia for the second day running
London 2012 chairman Lord Coe reveals students and teachers are also being called in at the last minute
Every tout arrested had tickets sent to foreign VIPS
Organisers Locog have begun an investigation into the ticketing fiasco
By ROB PREECE, DAVID WILLIAMS, CHRIS GREENWOOD and KATHERINE FAULKNER
PUBLISHED: 13:37 GMT, 29 July 2012
Prized Olympic tickets entrusted to foreign delegations are being openly sold by touts on the streets of Britain, it emerged last night.
They are cashing in on the huge demand for seats by selling tickets sent overseas by Games organisers.
The revelation came as a row raged over embarrassing scenes of banks of empty seating at many Games venues – including last night’s swimming finals.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:46 pm
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Column: Cheap tickets from a cheap franchise
By JIM LITKE
AP Sports Columnist
The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t been anywhere near the vanguard of the NFL for two decades now, a stretch that began not coincidentally when club founder Paul Brown died and his son Mike took over.
Yet the Bengals might be again — for all the wrong reasons — if a mild downturn in league-wide attendance since 2007 becomes a trend.
The team’s 65,500-seat stadium, named in Paul Brown’s honor but financed by taxpayers, was less than two-thirds full Saturday as the team locked up just its third winning season in the last 21 years. Hoping to head off an even more embarrassing number of no-shows when Baltimore visits Sunday with a playoff berth on the line for Cincinnati, the team and players are practically begging fans to come.
"We need all of you this week," said cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, one of a handful of players who made postgame pitches.
Cincinnati has finished in the middle of the pack in attendance season after season despite results that would doom a franchise in just about any other pro sport. But as a trio of TV deals announced just two weeks ago proved again, the NFL is unlike any other league. Despite stumbling through a lockout this summer and scrambling to cope with a growing concussion problem, it remains North America’s most popular game by just about any measure.
But even the NFL is not immune to a struggling economy. According to figures compiled by Business Insider, attendance at games has slipped four years in a row. In 2007, the league’s teams, on average, played to 99.9 percent capacity; last season, that figure was 94.6 percent. An NFL spokesman said Monday that 2011 attendance was down 0.5 percent ahead of the final regular-season weekend.
Already ahead of the curve, the Bengals touched a new low at Paul Brown Stadium this season against Buffalo (41,142) and sold out only one home game — a gift from thousands of Steelers’ fans who made the journey from Pittsburgh. Although Cincinnati currently occupies the league’s cellar in terms of attendance — 72 percent capacity, on average — St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Miami, Buffalo and even NFL-crazy Washington are all below 90 percent this season. Large swaths of empty seats weren’t uncommon in Jacksonville, San Diego, Kansas City and Indianapolis, too.
If there’s any consolation to be had from those numbers, it’s two-fold. First, other leagues would love to be playing in front of crowds at 95 percent capacity. Second, none of the other franchises lingering near the bottom have built up quite as much ill will with their fan base over time as the Bengals. Considering how much the NFL invests to help teams achieve parity and contend every so often — revenue-sharing, hard salary caps, franchise tags and the draft — it’s not easy to be as bad as the Bengals have been for that long.
Since taking over from his father Mike Brown has skimped on front-office hires, drafted badly and dabbled frequently in washed-up free agents whose antics with previous teams made them not just available, but cheap. Instead of taking responsibility for the mess, Brown seems almost amused by it. So many of his players ripped him over the years that he tried — unsuccessfully — to put loyalty oaths in their contracts. When fans made their discontent known by hanging a banner just above his box in old Riverfront Stadium more than a decade ago — "If it’s Brown, flush it down," the sign read — the owner let it be known that he, too, thought it was funny.
No one on either side of the divide is laughing at the moment, though. Despite the Bengals’ surprising 9-6 record this season, fans bearing grudges are staying away. That means less business for downtown merchants and lower tax revenues for a county struggling to cover the cost of basic services — let alone pay off the mortgage for a stadium that has been a boon for the Brown family.
This latest revolt, at least, caught his attention. No sooner had Saturday’s game ended than an offer to season-ticket holders began flashing on the scoreboard — buy one ticket for the Baltimore game and get a second free. Next came the unbidden — we assume — locker room sales pitches from players and coach Marvin Lewis. By Monday morning, fans who turned up to buy what the team said were a "couple thousand" tickets for the Baltimore game munched on hot dogs, cotton candy, hot chocolate and water free of charge (though considering Brown’s tight-fisted ways, chances are good it was leftover food from last weekend’s games).
The ruse likely will work, so look for a sellout. As precedents go, however, the league can’t be too pleased with lowered ticket prices. While TV revenues skyrocket, attendance already has been dented by everything from the bad economy and high prices — average cost for a family of four last year: $426.84 — to fantasy-football followers who can watch multiple games on their HD sets at home without paying $7 for a beer. Plus, it gets cold in plenty of NFL towns by the time December rolls around.
Of course, there’s another business model out there that proves a small-market team in an even-colder climate can fill up its stadium every Sunday. That would be the Green Bay Packers, who have come up with a solution that Brown likely never seriously considered.
It’s called winning.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:57 pm
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