9/16/2014

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Seahawks fans willing to barter guns, pot, pinball for tickets

Seahawks fans willing to barter guns, pot, pinball for tickets

SEATTLE -- A pinball wizard he might be, but Gary Gustafson is going to need more than just skill for his next big win.

"I buy and sell and trade pinball machines. I used to have 20 or 30 of them years ago," said Gustafson, a Seattle native who lives in Ballard. "They always say with pinball: the ball is wild."

His Ballard basement holds half a dozen pinball machines - from current to vintage - but he's willing to part with one - for the right price.

"I've had lots of offers of things to trade, but normally it's just been cash for other pinball machines which tickle my fancy," he said. "I just thought this was a great opportunity to put a little spin on selling pinball."

Gustafson is willing to trade his 14-year old "Revenge from Mars" pinball machine - worth more than $3,000 - in exchange for four tickets to Sunday's Seahawks game.

Although he's been a season ticket holder since 1977, he wants to take his teenage daughter to the game - and possibly a friend.

"If somebody could come up with some club seats or actually a suite would be nice," Gustafson said, chuckling. "Actually, we could take a machine to the game and play it during halftime."

A quick scan on Craigslist yields all kind of things people are willing to barter for tickets to the NFC Championship game. One woman is willing give up a week in a Mexican condo in exchange for seats. A seller in Pierce County is offering up a utility trailer for tickets. And then this person is willing to trade away his sixth-row seats for others because he "would prefer to sit next to a couple of lovely ladies."

Another man, who declined to be interviewed for this story, is offering up everything from dental work to massages to medical marijuana for tickets.

"One of the most memorable games I was at last year was when the Seahawks played Green Bay," said Josh Blodgett of Mukilteo. "I want to be at a game that will be a memorable game."

Blodgett managed to score last-minute club seats to last week's game versus New Orleans. This week, he isn't taking chances - and put a barely-used Benelli shotgun up for grabs in exchange for tickets.

"I was like, well I have a shotgun and a couple hundred dollars extra I'd be willing to trade," said Blodgett, who's been a Seahawks fan since moving to Washington seven years ago.

As of Monday night, Blodgett had a handful of inquiries on the shotgun - which he's used for shooting clay pigeons and estimates cost about $500. He was hopeful he'd be at Sunday's game.

"I would rather go to the Seahawks game compared to watching this thing sit in my gun cabinet," he added.

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