In the District of Columbia, it is against the law to sell tickets on public property for a price greater than face value.

Of course, what happens on private property or over the telephone is a different story. The only law in force in those cases is the law of supply and demand.

And currently, the ticket supply for Sunday's NFC championship game between the Washington Redskins and the Minnesota Vikings is exceeding demand.

Now, does this mean you will be able to sit in RFK Stadium for the NFL-established prices of $20, $30, $35, $40 or $45? Don't be silly. But if you are prepared to part with $150-$300, you should have no problem. If you are willing to gut it out until Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you might do better than that. On the other hand . . .

For those of you looking to retire on the proceeds from the season tickets you planned to sell, forget it. Based on the classified ads in yesterday's editions of The Washington Post and phone calls to some of the people who placed them, you probably will be able to make some money, but it likely will be less than you thought. Also, unless you sell your tickets yourself, you'd be better off just going to the game.

About 140 Redskins ticket-related ads appeared in yesterday's classified section. Ads under the heading "Tickets, Sale" outnumbered those under the heading "Tickets, Wanted" by about 13 to 1.

Tim Ryan, owner of Ticket Finders -- a local ticket broker -- said his office was receiving "about 10 times" as many phone inquiries from prospective sellers as it was from prospective buyers, and had stopped buying tickets.

A representative of the Ticket Connection also said his firm had stopped buying tickets. The Rockville office of Murray's Tickets -- a national broker -- was still buying tickets yesterday, according to co-owner Dave Adelman. But he added he was "getting an awful lot of calls from people wanting to sell at awful high prices; ridiculous prices. I can't use those."

Adelman described the market as "tremendous, really big." He said he was paying "$125 and up" for tickets, depending on location. He said he was selling the tickets he purchses at a profit of "about $50 apiece." For $150, he could put you in the stadium; for $300, he could put you between the 40-yard lines.

"We're doing a lot of business on this game," Adelman said. "We're getting good seats, the weather is supposed to be nice and it should be a good football game."

Adelman said he sold a block of 160 tickets to a company for $150 apiece.

Asked what the face value of those tickets had been, Adelman said, "It's funny you should ask that. I'm not really sure. I never go by face value."

At the other end of the ticket-selling spectrum, there was a Falls Church resident who had placed an ad asking $300 for each of four adjoining upper deck seats (the ad did not identify their location: end zone). The best offer received had been $200 each.

"We basically just need the money," said the prospective seller, whose family has owned season tickets for 16 years. "We usually sell our Dallas tickets and, if {the Redskins} make the playoffs, we usually end up selling them. We've only gotten one call today. Yesterday {Tuesday}, we got eight or nine. I don't know, there sure are a lot of ads in the paper."

Said a Silver Spring resident who was asking $600 for a pair of 50-yard-line seats, but had not been offered more than $450: "We usually sell them easier than that."

Why sell at all?

"You can watch just as well on TV. And there's nothing wrong with wanting to make a couple hundred dollars, is there?"

Nothing. Unless you end up holding tickets you don't use.

"The name of the game," Ryan said, "is don't have any tickets Sunday morning."