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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Yankees Tickets Are A Dollar, Seats Are Empty, And They’re Trying To Blame StubHub

Shockingly, there were no complaints when the secondary market ensured sellouts.

CrosbyBird Posted: June 06, 2012 at 12:15 PM | 80 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, tickets, whining, yankees

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   1. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 06, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4149831)
If the response to this isn't a big unanimous raspberry directed at the Yankees, I'm going to suspect a ringer.

I guess that lowering their prices to meet the real demand would be too radical a concept.
   2. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: June 06, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4149833)
I'd buy that for a dollar.
   3. McCoy Posted: June 06, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4149835)
According to SeatGeek EBay has the cheapest and best prices for tonight's game.
   4. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4149844)
I guess that lowering their prices to meet the real demand would be too radical a concept.


I don't particularly like StubHub nor the general concept of scalping but I can't find a way to argue with Andy's comment. It pisses me off as a season ticket holder that if I try to make a profit on tickets I am putting my tickets at risk but I see the same people selling tickets outside the ballpark at well above face value every night.

EDIT: Obviously not the situation here. But like Andy says, if you are being undersold, lower your prices.
   5. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4149845)
It pisses me off as a season ticket holder that if I try to make a profit on tickets I am putting my tickets at risk but I see the same people selling tickets outside the ballpark at well above face value every night.
I'd be pissed off if I saw someone else selling my tickets, too.
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4149849)
I see the same people selling tickets outside the ballpark at well above face value every night.


I'd guess that they are selling them below face for all the weeknight games, unless I am under-estimating the number of suckers out there. Because of the combo of the weather and the Celtics game, one could have gone to the Sox game last night for dirt-cheap or free with only the tiniest amount of effort.
   7. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4149855)
I'd guess that they are selling them below face for all the weeknight games, unless I am under-estimating the number of suckers out there. Because of the combo of the weather and the Celtics game, one could have gone to the Sox game last night for dirt-cheap or free with only the tiniest amount of effort.


That's probably true this year certainly. In years past though it was not.
   8. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4149861)
I was anti-scalper until I saw the racket that the Red Sox (among many others) keep WRT resellers. I suspect that eventually the Red Sox will be having the same complaint as the Yankees, and will be on equally poor footing.
   9. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:17 PM (#4149863)
What racket?
   10. McCoy Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4149865)
Just bought tickets to tonights Mets-Nationals game. LF OF seats for 8 bucks. I can live with that.
   11. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4149885)
Jose - Just that their attendance numbers are completely bogus thanks to the batches of tickets that get bought by their resellers.
   12. zenbitz Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:49 PM (#4149901)
I am fine with the concept of Stub Hub, however, I had a big problem with the implementation.
I mis-clicked on a pair of tickets (bought MONDAY day game tix instead of WEDNESDAY)... within 1 minute I realized my mistake and tried to revert the transaction. StubHub refused, but they said I could re-sell the tickets I just bought (note that SH take 10-15% ON BOTH ENDS of the transaction).

Instead I called my credit card company and told them to deny the charge. Which they did. I presume StubHub ate the tickets, but I suppose they could have just resold them after paying the original seller.
   13. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:53 PM (#4149911)
As a long time Yankee fan, let me say: these ######## built this crap ####### stadium that nobody asked for, charged insane amounts for shittier seats than the old place, and now are getting ######### by the secondary market because their product is way less desirable than they thought it was. I am so loving this. #### Randy Levine in the eye with a screwdriver.
   14. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4149917)
Jose - Just that their attendance numbers are completely bogus thanks to the batches of tickets that get bought by their resellers.


How is that a racket? They aren't doing anything other teams do and in fact those sales are part of the revenue sharing process. Ever since the leagues unified turnstile counts have not been used for anything.

That "attendance" is not actually the number of people at a game is stupid but I wouldn't call it a "racket." That sounds sinister.
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:57 PM (#4149921)
note that SH take 10-15% ON BOTH ENDS of the transaction


And if the original purchaser bought the tickets through a team's website or call center, they also paid a hefty fee to do so.
   16. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 06, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4149923)
It's not a racket in the sense of something designed to bilk people out of money, it's just a slightly meaningless marketing plot...like Angus beef.
   17. Nasty Nate Posted: June 06, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4149927)

That "attendance" is not actually the number of people at a game is stupid but I wouldn't call it a "racket." That sounds sinister.


Not to mention that I don't understand why that would make someone like scalpers more.
   18. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 06, 2012 at 02:08 PM (#4149937)
Yeah, "racket" was the wrong word, and it was a poor argument overall. Need more coffee so I can make an even poorer argument but do so more loudly.
   19. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 06, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4149944)
My brother brought up another good point: the upper deck seats, unlike the old tier reserve, suck ####### balls. They are soooo far away. Who wants to pay more than $5 to sit in such shitty seats? They ruined the upper deck.
   20. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 06, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4149945)
I guess that lowering their prices to meet the real demand would be too radical a concept.

I don't particularly like StubHub nor the general concept of scalping but I can't find a way to argue with Andy's comment.


I absolutely hate the whole concept of variable pricing, and the only type of scalping I like is the kind done in person outside the ballpark. I say this even though I fully realize that variable pricing makes perfect economic sense, and I've come to accept it as a given, at least as long as Extra Innings is available as a cheap alternative.

But since the entire rationale for jacking up the "premium" game prices is that "it's nothing but the free market at work", it takes a particular type of chutzpah to whine when that same free market is working exactly as it's supposed to. It's also hard to believe that season ticket holders didn't buy those tickets with their eyes wide open, and that they were unaware of what effects the current recession would have on demand for all but a small number of games.

Of course if the Yankees really wanted to follow the purest form of "supply and demand", they'd eliminate season tickets entirely and put every seat up for auction on the morning of each game, with a limit of four tickets a customer that were individually stamped with the name of the person for whom the ticket was going to be used by. That way the bidding would be restricted to people who actually "demanded" to attend that evening's game, and speculators would have no input. It would be more than a little interesting to see the results from such a format, and I suspect that had such a plan been implemented this season, the total attendance would sink to a level well below 3 million.
   21. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 06, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4149952)
note that SH take 10-15% ON BOTH ENDS of the transaction


And if the original purchaser bought the tickets through a team's website or call center, they also paid a hefty fee to do so.

Question: Is it even possible to buy a ticket these days without paying someone a fee, unless you walk up to the ticket window and buy it in person?
   22. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 06, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4149961)
Question: Is it even possible to buy a ticket these days without paying someone a fee, unless you walk up to the ticket window and buy it in person?
No. And they will usually hit you with a fee even if you do that.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: June 06, 2012 at 02:23 PM (#4149962)
Question: Is it even possible to buy a ticket these days without paying someone a fee, unless you walk up to the ticket window and buy it in person?


Maybe season tickets?

I haven't bought tickets over the phone in years, but I believe there is a fee involved. For online there definitely is a fee.

If you are doing a person-to-person secondary market transaction (negotiated on the street outside the park or via craigslist etc), there is no real fee.
   24. smileyy Posted: June 06, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4149967)
Of course if the Yankees really wanted to follow the purest form of "supply and demand", they'd eliminate season tickets entirely and put every seat up for auction on the morning of each game, with a limit of four tickets a customer that were individually stamped with the name of the person for whom the ticket was going to be used by.


I dunno, it seems like there's probably 100 models that you could all justify as being "pure supply and demand".
   25. BDC Posted: June 06, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4149991)
I am a big fan of StubHub. It has its peculiarities, I grant you. You have to watch the details very carefully to avoid the no-refund mess zenbitz describes in #12. And it can be hard to figure the market for any particular event. For instance, I'm looking at a Wednesday night Indians game at the Ballpark in September. In the upper deck in right field, not very good seats, there are some for 75¢ and some for $999.00. This seems to violate classic market principles. All I can assume is that the $999 seats are linked to some sort of Dutch-auction algorithm, and they'll start to drop in price closer to the date of the game – so that maybe at some point, somebody who absolutely must go to that particular game and can't sit in any row other than 17 because they're delusional will pay $139 for them instead of 75¢ for a few rows over.

All the upper-deck RF seats in the Ballpark seem to be sold on StubHub, and none of the LF seats are. The distinguishing factor seems to be that LF is the sun field, so none of those seats are much in demand. Or something; who knows? There are opaque arrangements at work.

Meanwhile, I have been to four Ranger games this year and paid about half face value for every ticket, including some great box seats, even though the team is selling out most nights and the park is truly packed (it's not just a paper sellout). I can't complain about StubHub. Nor should the teams: they must have originally gotten face value for a seat I wouldn't have paid that much for, so why do they care if I sit in it? If 40,000 other people don't want to come to the Ballpark, as Yogi Berra would say, there's no way to stop them.
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: June 06, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4149999)
For instance, I'm looking at a Wednesday night Indians game at the Ballpark in September. In the upper deck in right field, not very good seats, there are some for 75¢ and some for $999.00.


I wonder if some sellers list these insanely high prices in case someone buys them accidentally. Or maybe they do have some pre-determined buyer, and the thing is being used for money laundering or some tax/kickback scam.
   27. McCoy Posted: June 06, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4150000)
re 25

Basically I think the Yankees are ticked that the demand for their tickets are so low that it is a cheaper option to buy a ticket that was already sold than to buy an unsold ticket from the Yankees.

When everything is going the Yankees' way they get to sell all of their tickets at the price they want plus they get a fee from Stubhub. Now they get a fee from Stubhub but that fee isn't enough to offset the lost revenue being created from the secondary market.
   28. Swedish Chef Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:02 PM (#4150004)
All I can assume is that the $999 seats are linked to some sort of Dutch-auction algorithm

If there really are no refunds they could be there to trap mis-clickers.
   29. Lassus Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:04 PM (#4150007)
No. And they will usually hit you with a fee even if you do that.

I'm going to have to charge you for having me read that.
   30. BDC Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4150010)
Basically I think the Yankees are ticked that the demand for their tickets are so low that it is a cheaper option to buy a ticket that was already sold than to buy an unsold ticket from the Yankees

True. But often, in the old days, you'd just give those unwanted already-sold tickets away or sell them to your brother-in-law for a promise to mow your lawn or something. At least StubHub collects some money as the transaction passes, even if the nominal resale price is $1. (There's still a minimum $5 fee, even for the 75¢ tickets.) Obviously what the team is really suffering from is that not enough people want to come to the game that they keep their bought seats and force other people to buy unbought ones. But they're trying to blame the messenger/middleman.

   31. Nasty Nate Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4150019)
I don't think Levine realizes that if you remove the easy re-sale mechanism, fewer people will buy them far in advance or will buy season ticket packages - and the Yankees would be roughly in the same spot they are in now anyway, minus whatever they make from the stubhub relationship. Although, I suppose if the would-be amateur scalpers are taking losses, advanced sales will be going down anyway.
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4150037)
From the NY Post story: “We believe there are serious issues with the StubHub relationship,” team president Randy Levine told The Post yesterday. “We are actively reviewing more fan-friendly alternatives for next year.”

I'm going to test my psychic abilities and predict that the 'fan-friendly' alternatives do not include finding a competitor to StubHub that charges smaller service fees to its users.
   33. Bob T Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:34 PM (#4150041)
If I go directly to Dodger Stadium to buy tickets at the advance ticket booth, there is no service charge. These are also open during games, so you can load up there if you need to. It works out pretty well for me also if I am looking for wheelchair-accessible seats for my father-in-law. Stubhub is not very good for picking out accessible seats.
   34. Blastin Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4150045)
I have paid 10 dollars for the upper deck and been able to see just fine. I really don't hate the stadium like some others do. And I was in the second to top row of the entire thing.

The food/drinks are way too expensive, yeah. I bring an empty bottle of water and fill it - I don't want crappy beer anyway.


But I made a profit on stubhub, which was nice. They're a bit too greedy, but I find them convenient. I guess I just am not up in arms about all this. (shrug)
   35. Walt Davis Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:51 PM (#4150059)
suck ####### balls

I need Richard Dawson's or Charles Nelson Reilly's help on this one.
   36. zenbitz Posted: June 06, 2012 at 03:57 PM (#4150068)
finding a competitor to StubHub that charges smaller service fees to its users.


Craigslist!

Or, maybe I am misunderstanding. The Yankees (and from what I can tell, the rest of MLB) has a contract with StubHub so that they are allowed to "scalp"? And if I, enterprising young webdesigner, want to make a hubostubs.com site and offer the same resale services at 1/2 the service charge, this would be illegal scalping?

And this from teams who essentially force fans to by season tickets to get access to playoff games or premium seats -- then ##### when fans dump the crappy night game tickets they didn't want any way?

   37. Nasty Nate Posted: June 06, 2012 at 04:07 PM (#4150082)
The Yankees (and from what I can tell, the rest of MLB) has a contract with StubHub so that they are allowed to "scalp"? And if I, enterprising young webdesigner, want to make a hubostubs.com site and offer the same resale services at 1/2 the service charge, this would be illegal scalping?


On Stubhub, it is individual people re-selling tickets which they have already purchased from the Yankees. Generally speaking, the sellers enter a code from the ticket(s), and the buyer prints out tickets received as PDF's in emails from Stubhub, and these tickets have bar codes which are scanned by the ticket takers at the parks. Presumably, the original tickets' bar codes then would show up as invalid if someone tried to use them to get into a game. Without the agreement with MLB, I don't think the tickets from your hypothetical site would be linked to the stadium ticket database (or whatever), and therefore you wouldn't be able to offer the print-at-home feature which makes Stubhub selling/buying convenient and which allows for last-minute sales.
   38. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 06, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4150094)
Of course if the Yankees really wanted to follow the purest form of "supply and demand", they'd eliminate season tickets entirely and put every seat up for auction on the morning of each game, with a limit of four tickets a customer that were individually stamped with the name of the person for whom the ticket was going to be used by.

I dunno, it seems like there's probably 100 models that you could all justify as being "pure supply and demand".


I suppose you might say that, but in the deal I'm talking about, the "demand" would be from people who actually were going to be at the game(s). The middleman (who isn't "demanding" to attend the game himself) would be almost completely eliminated, due to the requirement that the ticket(s) would be useable by only the person whose name was on it. The only time a middleman could get in on the act would be if the would-be ticket purchaser was busy during the auction and had to commission a third party to buy the tickets in his name(s) for a fee. And even that would probably only last for as long as a program to automate one's personal bidding could be introduced. A truly enterprising middleman could probably get around that by acting as an agent for multiple buyers who hadn't installed such programs, but his work would be still be a lot more complicated than it is today.

Of course with this setup you'd probably have a few games where TV cameramen would be fired for panning the crowds, but after a few such experiences the Yankees might start pricing their tickets at a level that's more reflective of the actual demand to go to a game, as opposed to a demand to engage in a variant of penny stock speculation.

EDIT: As a small refinement, you could eliminate the four ticket limit for games where the demand was minimal. That way if someone wanted to take (for instance) a dozen of his nieces and nephews to a game, he wouldn't be prevented from doing so. And if the Yankees sold groups of tickets with adjacent seats as a bloc, they'd probably get more than they would by selling them individually. That's almost always the case for traditional scalpers, whose highest demand comes from couples rather than individuals.
   39. Zipperholes Posted: June 06, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4150099)
On Stubhub, it is individual people re-selling tickets which they have already purchased from the Yankees. Generally speaking, the sellers enter a code from the ticket(s), and the buyer prints out tickets received as PDF's in emails from Stubhub, and these tickets are have bar codes which are scanned by the ticket takers at the parks. Presumably, the original tickets' bar codes then would show up as invalid if someone tried to use them to get into a game. Without the agreement with MLB, I don't think the tickets from your hypothetical site would be linked to the stadium ticket database (or whatever), and therefore you wouldn't be able to offer the print-at-home feature which makes Stubhub selling/buying convenient and which allows for last-minute sales.
Last year, I got Yankees tickets emailed to me and scanned on my phone at the gate. It was not through Stubhub.

It was pretty cool. I was at a 1:00 Mets game, found the person on Craigslist, did the whole transaction electronically, and went to the 4:00 Yankees game.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: June 06, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4150106)
Last year, I got Yankees tickets emailed to me and scanned on my phone at the gate. It was not through Stubhub.

It was pretty cool. I was at a 1:00 Mets game, found the person on Craigslist, did the whole transaction electronically, and went to the 4:00 Yankees game.


I assume those tickets were originally bought from the Yankees as E-Tickets, right? I don't think that would be possible if the person you bought them from had physical tickets bought from the Yankees (which is possible with Stubhub). And you had to trust that he wasn't sending those tickets to multiple people.
   41. CrosbyBird Posted: June 06, 2012 at 04:31 PM (#4150107)
I'm a big fan of StubHub, but before reading this article, I had no clue that tickets were available for so little. I might see a few Met games in person this season by buying on the secondary market, allowing me to maintain the illusion that I'm not actually supporting the Wilpons.

A friend of mine has a small season ticket package (Friday night home games) and I'm going to Mets @ Yankees this week. That's still enough of a draw that the $23 ticket is still a pretty good price; StubHub's cheapest for that game are $39.94.
   42. Zipperholes Posted: June 06, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4150115)
I assume those tickets were originally bought from the Yankees as E-Tickets, right? I don't think that would be possible if the person you bought them from had physical tickets bought from the Yankees (which is possible with Stubhub). And you had to trust that he wasn't sending those tickets to multiple people.
Oh, I see what you're saying. Yes, he emailed them to me from the Yankees system. But don't most people have either PDFs or e-tickets now anyway? I believe all season ticket holders have them (or access to them, at least) even if they have hard tickets.

And yeah, there's always a bit of trust required on Craigslist.
   43. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 06, 2012 at 04:41 PM (#4150116)
Of course if the Yankees really wanted to follow the purest form of "supply and demand", they'd eliminate season tickets entirely and put every seat up for auction on the morning of each game, with a limit of four tickets a customer that were individually stamped with the name of the person for whom the ticket was going to be used by. That way the bidding would be restricted to people who actually "demanded" to attend that evening's game, and speculators would have no input.
This, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with a "purer form" of supply and demand, but is just one of Andy's random whims, like having ten page disclaimers on peanut butter to explain why their jars don't offer customer support.
   44. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4150117)
Question: Is it even possible to buy a ticket these days without paying someone a fee, unless you walk up to the ticket window and buy it in person?

Maybe season tickets?


Season tickets typically come with a "handling fee." I once had a spirited conversation with a lady at a baseball ticket office during which I asked her exactly what the staff at the ticket office did, since the physical act of selling a ticket apparently counted as something above and beyond.

suck ####### balls

I need Richard Dawson's or Charles Nelson Reilly's help on this one.


Richard was always the preferred match, but if the topic is sucking balls, for the $500 answer I'm going to have to go with Big Chuck.
   45. Dangerous Dean Posted: June 06, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4150128)
No. And they will usually hit you with a fee even if you do that.


Actually there is one place where it is still fee-less. The Astros ticket windows in the park won't charge ANY fees except sales taxes on the tickets they sell.

If I want to get tix to all 3 games of a series, I bite the bullet and pay the online fees for the 1st game and then buy from the ticket office in the park for the next two. The money I save is nice, but I just refuse to pay their "convenience" and others fees.
   46. The Good Face Posted: June 06, 2012 at 05:10 PM (#4150138)
This, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with a "purer form" of supply and demand, but is just one of Andy's random whims, like having ten page disclaimers on peanut butter to explain why their jars don't offer customer support.


Only because of the deceptive advertising practices of Big Peanut Butter. Oh sure, they SAY it's "creamy", but there's no actual cream in it! People with lactose intolerance could be tricked into getting chunky style, but I guess you lackies of the fat-cat peanut butter barons just don't care about consumers the way he does.
   47. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 06, 2012 at 06:01 PM (#4150176)
Of course if the Yankees really wanted to follow the purest form of "supply and demand", they'd eliminate season tickets entirely and put every seat up for auction on the morning of each game, with a limit of four tickets a customer that were individually stamped with the name of the person for whom the ticket was going to be used by. That way the bidding would be restricted to people who actually "demanded" to attend that evening's game, and speculators would have no input.

This, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with a "purer form" of supply and demand, but is just one of Andy's random whims, like having ten page disclaimers on peanut butter to explain why their jars don't offer customer support.


Yes, I suppose it is a random whim to think that people who actually plan to attend a game are more reflective of a demand to attend that game than people who want to buy tickets purely for speculation. Of course my plan would favor the former group of people, so I can understand your reflexive hostility to it.

That's not to say that other arrangements don't also meet a supply / demand definition, and I don't have anything particularly against StubHub, but there's no question that the current method of ticket marketing and distribution is based on exploiting the fear of being shut out of critical games, and that the main beneficiaries of this method are (a) the Yankees and other relatively high demand teams, and (b) speculators and middlemen.

Of course speculators (such as some season ticket holders) at least assume actual risk in putting out money in advance for games that have uncertain future demand. There are no guaranteed profits in their business. And middlemen like StubHub provide service in the form of convenience, and also enable buyers to find bargains to some events. So there's give-and-take to their m.o.

But when the Yankees try to have it both ways, that's when the stench level really rises. Even a reflexive corporate mouthpiece like you has to acknowledge that their case against StubHub is motivated by no real principle other than pure self-interest. And while there's nothing illegal or particularly unusual about such magnificent chutzpah, it hardly deserves any response other than a big Bronx cheer.
   48. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 06, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4150254)
StubHub is a MLB deal, not a Yankee deal, so it might not matter what one team feels about it, although I doubt the Yanks are all that upset about the situation. Seems like the "blame StubHub" statement is just a PR gambit to deflect attention from ticket sales being a little less than desired.

That said, StubHub gets the tickets to those who can use them at a price they are willing to pay. What's not to like?
   49. McCoy Posted: June 06, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4150265)
The service fee.
   50. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 06, 2012 at 09:15 PM (#4150339)

That said, StubHub gets the tickets to those who can use them at a price they are willing to pay. What's not to like?


The last time I used StubHub, which admittedly was a couple of years ago and was for concert tickets, they wouldn't show you the exact seat location, only the row (which can make a HUGE deal in concert seating if you're on one of the wings) AND they didn't have any mechanism through which you could email the seller and find out.

Plus, yeah, the ####### fees ...
   51. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: June 06, 2012 at 10:30 PM (#4150393)
The last time I used StubHub, which admittedly was a couple of years ago and was for concert tickets, they wouldn't show you the exact seat location, only the row (which can make a HUGE deal in concert seating if you're on one of the wings) AND they didn't have any mechanism through which you could email the seller and find out.


That's fixed now. Stubhub's selection tool is very good. But the fees are still ridiculous.

Fan-to-fan ticket sales seems like something that should have a very low barrier to entry- not sure why stubhub doesn't have more competition. You'd think someone like amazon or ebay would get involved and drive those down significantly.
   52. McCoy Posted: June 06, 2012 at 10:44 PM (#4150402)
EBay sells ticket and at the very least they don't tell you what fees you are paying when you buy. I just bought tickets for tonight's game on EBay for $8 a ticket and they didn't charge me any fees for doing it.
   53. Nasty Nate Posted: June 06, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4150408)
Fan-to-fan ticket sales seems like something that should have a very low barrier to entry- not sure why stubhub doesn't have more competition. You'd think someone like amazon or ebay would get involved and drive those down significantly.


The official deal I assume gives them a leg-up, and MLB can probably get a better deal selling an exclusive deal.
   54. Nasty Nate Posted: June 06, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4150409)
EBay sells ticket and at the very least they don't tell you what fees you are paying when you buy. I just bought tickets for tonight's game on EBay for $8 a ticket and they didn't charge me any fees for doing it.


How did they get the tickets to you?

Also, did you buy tickets for a game that was already in progress?
   55. tshipman Posted: June 06, 2012 at 10:54 PM (#4150414)
Andy, any model that had individual seats go on sale only on the morning of the game would lead to more speculation rather than less.

I guess I don't see what the big deal is about the Yankees trying to price their seat at the optimal point on the profit max curve. This is going to lead to empty seats at the ball park. Their goal is pretty clearly not completely full ballparks. I guess I don't get why this is a big deal?
   56. Nasty Nate Posted: June 06, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4150417)
I guess I don't see what the big deal is about the Yankees trying to price their seat at the optimal point on the profit max curve. This is going to lead to empty seats at the ball park. Their goal is pretty clearly not completely full ballparks. I guess I don't get why this is a big deal?


The Yankees are the ones complaining
   57. McCoy Posted: June 06, 2012 at 11:11 PM (#4150429)
How did they get the tickets to you?


They emailed me a PDF. I bought the tickets 6 hours before the game.
   58. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4150481)
Andy, any model that had individual seats go on sale only on the morning of the game would lead to more speculation rather than less.

Doubtful, if you read what I wrote about having each ticket assigned to one specific user, and a high demand game having a limit of four tickets per customer, each ticket individually stamped with the name of one specific person. That would make it tough for speculators, and even tougher for bulk speculators. Remember, each seat would be auctioned, not sold at a uniform flat rate, which would reduce any potential margin between the . Of course if you removed those stipulations and sold unlimited numbers of unnamed tickets at a flat rate on the morning of the game, you'd be correct, but that's not what I was saying.

I guess I don't see what the big deal is about the Yankees trying to price their seat at the optimal point on the profit max curve. This is going to lead to empty seats at the ball park. Their goal is pretty clearly not completely full ballparks. I guess I don't get why this is a big deal?

As McCoy points out, the only ones complaining about the StubHub deal are the Yankees. I'm not complaining about it, since it works in both directions, and I don't see anyone else complaining, either.
   59. McCoy Posted: June 07, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4150496)
In the "old days" of the late 90's the speculators would send up the homeless to stand in line for the gameday ticket sales.

If there is money to be made by cutting a corner someone will figure it out and exploit it.
   60. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 07, 2012 at 01:34 AM (#4150512)
Doubtful, if you read what I wrote about having each ticket assigned to one specific user, and a high demand game having a limit of four tickets per customer, each ticket individually stamped with the name of one specific person.

Not sure anyone wants to wait in long lines at both the ticket-buying and stadium-entry stages. Besides, if it's" racist" to require photo ID to vote, how can it be justified to attend a baseball game?
   61. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 08:10 AM (#4150548)
In the "old days" of the late 90's the speculators would send up the homeless to stand in line for the gameday ticket sales.

If there is money to be made by cutting a corner someone will figure it out and exploit it.


Under the auction method that I proposed, you're sure not going to be able to beat it by having people standing in line, since there wouldn't be any lines, and they wouldn't know how much to pay even if there were a line. Obviously you couldn't distribute that many tickets on that short a notice through box office windows, but that's not what I've been talking about.

EDIT: For games that didn't sell out, the teams then could offer walk-up tickets at whatever prices they felt would maximize either attendance OR their total gross take. It'd be up to the team to decide the price.

---------------------------------------------

Doubtful, if you read what I wrote about having each ticket assigned to one specific user, and a high demand game having a limit of four tickets per customer, each ticket individually stamped with the name of one specific person. That would make it tough for speculators, and even tougher for bulk speculators. Remember, each seat would be auctioned, not sold at a uniform flat rate, which would reduce any potential margin between the . Of course if you removed those stipulations and sold unlimited numbers of unnamed tickets at a flat rate on the morning of the game, you'd be correct, but that's not what I was saying.

Not sure anyone wants to wait in long lines at both the ticket-buying and stadium-entry stages.


Again, where do you get this bit about standing in lines?

Besides, if it's" racist" to require photo ID to vote, how can it be justified to attend a baseball game?

I guess it must be because I'm a racist, just like every store that asks for an ID before accepting your check.

   62. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4150592)
Fan-to-fan ticket sales seems like something that should have a very low barrier to entry- not sure why stubhub doesn't have more competition. You'd think someone like amazon or ebay would get involved and drive those down significantly.
eBay, according to the article, owns StubHub
   63. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4150599)
Fan-to-fan ticket sales seems like something that should have a very low barrier to entry- not sure why stubhub doesn't have more competition. You'd think someone like amazon or ebay would get involved and drive those down significantly.


eBay, according to the article, owns StubHub

Great, and of course we all know who owns ebay.
   64. tshipman Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:18 AM (#4150608)
Doubtful, if you read what I wrote about having each ticket assigned to one specific user, and a high demand game having a limit of four tickets per customer, each ticket individually stamped with the name of one specific person. That would make it tough for speculators, and even tougher for bulk speculators. Remember, each seat would be auctioned, not sold at a uniform flat rate, which would reduce any potential margin between the . Of course if you removed those stipulations and sold unlimited numbers of unnamed tickets at a flat rate on the morning of the game, you'd be correct, but that's not what I was saying.


If you're requiring people to show ID as they enter, you're creating a massive backlog to get into the park. No one wants to have to arrive an hour early for the game just to wait in line.

This is a terrible system that no one would ever implement.
   65. BDC Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4150644)
I can see shaking your head over StubHub fees: you see a price of $0.99 for a ticket, and the fee is $5, and you say WTF (not unlike seeing a book for $0.01 on Amazon and being told the S&H is $4.99). Still, even after I pay the fees, I've been getting tickets for half the price that I'd pay at the box office or directly from the team. There is no free lunch, but there can be some good lunch discounts :)
   66. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4150674)
I would think that StubHub is hurting teams w/r/t selling tickets to non-marquee games. If you ever wanted to go see the Tigers (for example) on a weeknight, you'd be foolish to buy from the box office. Can almost always get them less than face value on StubHub, even after fees.

Now maybe it helps MLB in general due to the league-wide partnership. Maybe it helps season ticket sales, as people that buy the tickets at the beginning of the year know they have a relatively convenient avenue to unload the tickets to games they can't use.
   67. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4150683)
Now maybe it helps MLB in general due to the league-wide partnership. Maybe it helps season ticket sales, as people that buy the tickets at the beginning of the year know they have a relatively convenient avenue to unload the tickets to games they can't use.
I assume the main way it helps MLB is that ticket resalers buy tickets to baseball games. Stubhub provides these glorified scalpers as centralized place to sell tickets, which makes ticket resale a more stable and profitable business, which makes them more likely to buy more tickets from MLB teams.

In the example you suggested, the reason you can get those Tigers tickets is because someone already bought them. That's what's good for the Tigers - the initial purchase.
   68. Dan Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:31 AM (#4150702)
The resale market probably increases the number of people who actually use tickets too. Instead of going unused, tickets are actually used, bringing people into the park to spend money on concessions and caps and jerseys, etc.

People who got a great deal on a ticket are probably also more willing to pay $8 for a beer too.
   69. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4150703)
I assume the main way it helps MLB is that ticket resalers buy tickets to baseball games. Stubhub provides these glorified scalpers as centralized place to sell tickets, which makes ticket resale a more stable and profitable business, which makes them more likely to buy more tickets from MLB teams.

In the example you suggested, the reason you can get those Tigers tickets is because someone already bought them. That's what's good for the Tigers - the initial purchase.


Right, but what if the ticket re-salers were buying tickets to baseball games anyway?

For example, I buy my Tigers tickets whether or not StubHub was there. Now, with StubHub, I can unload ones I don't go to. Random Fan that just wants to go to one game buys from me through StubHub.

Without StubHub, I don't go anyway and the Tigers still get the money I paid from my season ticket. Random Fan that just wants to go to one game buys ticket from box office because he doesnt' like dealing with scalpers on the street.

EDIT - I can't imagine the scenario I laid out has a huge impact, but I'd think it's possible that teams have notice smaller walk-up sales on days of the game. It's also possible that more seats get used this way and the team makes it up through concessions.
   70. BDC Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4150707)
I dunno, Crosseyed. Again, if 45,000 people want to go to a ballgame, they can now do so very conveniently. If only 15,000 want to go, the team isn't going to sell 45,000 anyway. Now, I suppose the Yankees can ##### and moan that only 15,000 people want to go, they've sold 40,000 of their 45,000 seats to speculators and uninterested corporate drones, and so some last-minute bunch of the 15,000 are buying tickets from one another instead of buying those last 5,000. But the central problem is that only 15,000 want to go, not the existence of StubHub.
   71. Nasty Nate Posted: June 07, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4150709)
In the example you suggested, the reason you can get those Tigers tickets is because someone already bought them. That's what's good for the Tigers - the initial purchase.


However, the teams would rather a situation in which their is both the initial purchase AND another purchase by the person who now is using Stubhub.

E.G. I would have no problem paying face to go sit in the bleachers at Fenway some weeknight. However, there is no way that I would actually do that, because I know I can get a better deal on Stubhub. When the secondary market was less efficient, it was often easier (or otherwise more desirable) for people to just buy tickets to low-demand games at face value from the team rather than deal with finding a less-than-face ticket on the secondary market.

But as you and others have pointed out - there would be less advance/season ticket sales if the resale process is more onerous. The Yankees want to have it both ways.
   72. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: June 07, 2012 at 12:03 PM (#4150738)
eBay, according to the article, owns StubHub

Great, and of course we all know who owns ebay.


GE owns KitchenAll of Colorado, which in turn owns JMI of Stamford which is a majority shareholder of Pokerfastlane.com which recently acquired the Sheinhardt Wig Company which owns NBC outright. NBC owns Winnipeg Iron Works which owns the AHP Chanagi Party Meats company of Pyongyang, North Korea, and they will sell the tickets.
   73. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4150744)
If you're requiring people to show ID as they enter, you're creating a massive backlog to get into the park. No one wants to have to arrive an hour early for the game just to wait in line.

This is a terrible system that no one would ever implement.


You've already got plenty of people who arrive early, and anyway, it wouldn't take long for people to know to have their ID's (which wouldn't have to be photographic) ready to flash at the ticket taker. You could also waive the requirement for small children and little old ladies in non-suspicious looking tennis shoes.

Of course no team would ever implement such a system for a hundred good reasons, mainly because it's an answer to a problem that doesn't exist on a level that needs any immediate attention. But IF you wanted to put StubHub out of business and keep scalping to the barest minimum----which is what the Yankees seem to be hinting at, even though the only scalping they object to is when it drives prices down----it would be hard to think of a more foolproof way of doing it.
   74. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 07, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4150749)
You've already got plenty of people who arrive early, and anyway, it wouldn't take long for people to know to have their ID's (which wouldn't have to be photographic) ready to flash at the ticket taker.
You're not talking about "flashing" an id. Your proposal was that an ID/ticket match, which would require something like the boarding process for an airplane. That #### would take forever with 30,000 people.
But IF you wanted to put StubHub out of business and keep scalping to the barest minimum----which is what the Yankees seem to be hinting at, even though the only scalping they object to is when it drives prices down----it would be hard to think of a more foolproof way of doing it.
It really isn't what they're hinting at, at all. The Yankees are just whining, and trying to squeeze a bit more profit out of an already profitable racket. They know that ticket resale is good for their business, they just want a bit more.

Also, it's Randy Levine. I doubt even his employees take him seriously.
   75. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4150753)
I assume the main way [StubHub] helps MLB is that ticket resalers buy tickets to baseball games. Stubhub provides these glorified scalpers as centralized place to sell tickets, which makes ticket resale a more stable and profitable business, which makes them more likely to buy more tickets from MLB teams.

Correct on all counts, but what the Yankees are worried about is that if too many people catch onto the fact that by waiting till the last minute they can get tickets at fire sale prices, it's bound to have an effect on future season ticket sales, especially if those tax writeoffs for "business expenses" were disallowed. That latter move alone would drive ticket prices down faster than just about anything.
   76. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 12:29 PM (#4150767)
You've already got plenty of people who arrive early, and anyway, it wouldn't take long for people to know to have their ID's (which wouldn't have to be photographic) ready to flash at the ticket taker.

You're not talking about "flashing" an id. Your proposal was that an ID/ticket match, which would require something like the boarding process for an airplane. That #### would take forever with 30,000 people.


You can have many levels of ID checking, and you could easily instruct people to hold up their ID and their ticket next to each other, so that the match could be certified with a quick glance at the pair, and the ticket taken and scanned and returned as usual. The only glitch might be that you'd need literates at the turnstiles.

But IF you wanted to put StubHub out of business and keep scalping to the barest minimum----which is what the Yankees seem to be hinting at, even though the only scalping they object to is when it drives prices down----it would be hard to think of a more foolproof way of doing it.

It really isn't what they're hinting at, at all. The Yankees are just whining, and trying to squeeze a bit more profit out of an already profitable racket. They know that ticket resale is good for their business, they just want a bit more.


Which is exactly what I'm saying when I say that the Yankees only object to StubHub when the prices go down.

Also, it's Randy Levine. I doubt even his employees take him seriously.

I don't think anyone's taking any of this seriously, since the Yankees are but 1 team out of 30 and their hypocrisy here nearly rises to a Gingrich level of self-parody.
   77. Dan Posted: June 07, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4151013)
Deadspin has a followup that brings some actual numbers into the discussion.
   78. Johnny Slick Posted: June 07, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4151053)
Wow. Stubhub is the TKTS of Yankee Stadium.
   79. McCoy Posted: June 07, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4151076)
It would be pretty awesome if SeatGeek did that for all teams.
   80. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 07, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4151089)
That Deadspin link is amazing. I (don't) pity the Yankees if prospective (or current) season ticket holders start getting wind of those numbers.

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