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The Yankees are not pleased with StubHub

Apr 24, 2012, 9:40 AM EDT

Image (1) yankee%20stadium.jpg for post 4012

This is only a problem for a business that is used to having an anti-trust exemption:  The New York Post reports that the Yankees are not pleased with StubHub — a partner of Major League Baseball — because Yankees tickets are for sale at very, very low prices:

. . . for the past few years, the cheapest unwanted Yankee tickets have been reselling on StubHub at just a few dollars apiece, and sources say the team isn’t happy.

For instance, right now there are 7,184 tickets listed on StubHub for next Monday night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, with prices starting at just $3 — less than the price of a beer. If fans went to the Stadium box office or to Yankees.com, the team’s official site, those seats would cost $15.20 apiece.

The reporter, John Cruedle, says that the Yankees, the Angels and some other clubs “would like StubHub to place a floor on ticket prices offered for sale on their site.”

Because, apparently, the Yankees believe that people wouldn’t sell their tickets for more on StubHub if they could? Or am I just missing something about how markets are supposed to work?

  1. dawgpoundmember - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    If a ticket is on stubhub…wouldnt that mean it was already purchased, so what do they care?

    • asox - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:53 AM

      They care because the stadium is not sold out. The Yankees want to sell additional tickets. They get nothing from the re-sale of tickets already sold.

      • kopy - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        And it will never be sold out if they raise prices without improving the quality of the product – which is hard to do for a Monday night Orioles visit.

      • bloodysock - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        MLB does get a cut of the resell commission assessed by StubHub (15% to the seller and 10% to the buyer of the resold ticket).

      • mox19380 - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:14 AM

        but they’d get nothing if the tickets were not bought by FAN-A at the original list price. FAN-B buys the ticket for say $3 which goes to FAN-A but the Yankees still received their face value for the original purchase. The only one who suffers is FAN-A who perhaps thought they could make a profit re-selling the ticket.

        There must be a bigger reason why they wouldn’t want that ticket sold on there for $3 bucks. It’s not like FAN-A stole the ticket from the Yanks and is making a profit at $3 selling to FAN-B.

      • mox19380 - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        the only reasoning i get is that the Yankees want FAN-B to buy his own entirely new ticket, while FAN-A just sits on his and loses out on the amazing $3 profit that is cut by a 1/3 when stubhub applies their ‘convenience fee’

    • bjavie - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:57 AM

      Because the ticket on Stub Hub was originally purchased by Fan A. The Yankees want Fan B to purchase a ticket from them, not from Stub Hub, where the re-sale $$ goes to Fan A, not the Yankees.

      If Stub Hub were required to have a minimum on sales price, then Fan B might just assume go to the box office to get a ticket, as opposed to Stub Hub. Then the Yankees get $$ from both Fan A and Fan B.

      • easports82 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:21 AM

        But if Fan A has already bought a ticket and won’t show up, but Fan B will, then the Yankees still collect when Fan B shows up and buys stuff. If Fan B doesn’t want to pay the box office price, then he doesn’t go, Fan A doesn’t go and the stadium loses out on the revenue generated by people being at the park.

  2. kopy - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    As a degree holder in Economics, this article makes me want to hit things.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:35 AM

      So you must drink a lot whenever article #193691032 is written about higher payroll = higher ticket prices?

    • evanhartford - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      I stopped buying tickets online a long time ago. Its a highly unregulated and manipulated sham. The best (and cheapest) place to buy tickets are from scalpers at the game.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        You’re kidding, right?

  3. mybrunoblog - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    It is fascinating how the business of baseball ticket selling has changed. MLB got into bed with Stub Hub and they arent getting out anytime soon. Yanks really aren’t losing much $ though. The tix you see for sale on Stub Hub have already been sold to season ticket holders. They are dumping them so they are the ones taking the bath on those tickets…..

  4. l0yalr0yal - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    $15.20? Outrageous. That’s two Royals games and a dollar twenty.

    • 4letterman - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      Or 2 games and a free hotdog, or 3 Mets games and a bobblehead.

      • 4letterman - Apr 24, 2012 at 9:55 AM

        Sorry 2 Rays games.

    • bigharold - Apr 24, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      “$15.20?”

      Which is less then half of the parking fee, .. not to mention the tolls and gas.

      While I love my Yankees I’ve little sympathy for their dilemma.

      I had very nice seats at the old stadium for $45 bucks per, .. right above 3rd base about 6 rows off the upper deck rail. Seats in a similar area would cost about $75-100, .. and they’ve doubled the cost of parking. All I heard when my seats where moved at the new Stadium, to the point that I was looking down on the left field foul pole, was supply and demand.

      The Yankees and others are finding that works both ways.

      • pipkin42 - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:04 AM

        The 4, B, and D all go there. So does Metro North. Don’t have to drive.

  5. kranepool - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    NY Yankees President Randy Levine is a great admirer of Fidel Castro

  6. plummer2512 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    I don’t get why they are mad? People are still coming to the games and buying concessions, parking, etc. The ticket was already sold so who cares how much StubHub decides to sell it for. The Yankees should just be happy that someone bought the ticket and are coming to buy their over-priced concessions. Seems stupid to me to get worked up over this.

    • shzastl - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      Because if the Stubhub minimum for the ticket the Yankees have already sold is $20, then buyers will get tickets from the box office at $15.20 instead, putting that much more in the Yankees pocket, instead of $3 in StubHub’s pocket.

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Keep those stupid poor fans out of the ballpark! What, with their yelling and slapping their hands together and general hooliganism.

    When your team plays in a place as fancy and upscale as the South Bronx, with the perfect kind of symbiotic relationship the Yankees have achieved with their neighbors, one expects that the fans would work to maintain the kind of exclusivity that ownership so desperately wishes to impose on the place. Is that too much to ask?

  8. joshfrancis50 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    It seems to me that it would be in the Yankees best interest to have butts in the seats buying concessions even at a “sub-optimal” ticket price than have them remain empty. The Yankee have already gotten their money, as noted above, so shouldn’t they be happy to work with a reseller to get more people through the gates?

    This seems penny wise and pound foolish, to me.

    • shzastl - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      Possibly, but with the concessions there is overhead, the vending company and employees selling the beer get a cut, etc. With additional tickets, it would seem to be a much higher percentage of pure net profit. Would people who otherwise would not decide to go to the game if tickets were 15.20 go just because they happened to see a $3 ticket on stubhub? Once fans are in the door, they are going to buy a hot dog and beer regardless of what they paid for the ticket.

      • joshfrancis50 - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        The overhead on the concessions exists and remains constant whether people are in the seats to buy them or not. Putting more people in those seats would only help to further subsidize the overhead cost associated with them. The assumption you make is that the Yankees (or whomever) adjust their staff to a projected number of attendees, which could reduce/increase the payroll. I suppose it’s possible, however, unlikely.

        I’m not arguing that people are more likely to buy a dog and a beer because they got their ticket for less, I’m arguing that an empty seat absolutely won’t buy a dog and beer but a living, breathing human being in that same seat might.

      • shzastl - Apr 24, 2012 at 3:23 PM

        True, but it depends on the number of people who buy tickets at $3 that would not buy them at $15. If many of the $3 buyers would still be willing to attend a game if it costs $15, the higher profit margin on the ticket may outweigh the net profit from concession sales to those who would only attend if tickets were $3. I don’t know the answer to that, but it seems to me that people usually get the idea that they want to attend a game and then see what kind of deal they can get on tickets and would not be scared off by a $15 price point, rather than deciding to attend a game because they stumbled across a deal for a $3 ticket.

        I think we are in agreement that people will not necessarily spend any differently on concessions if they got a slightly cheaper ticket, but could be a factor in the overall equation.

        The comment

  9. millmannj - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Yanks have no one to blame but themselves. When the new ballpark opened in 2009, they tried to pressure partial-season ticket owners to upgrade to a full-season package with the threat that, otherwise, they wouldn’t get any seats at all. When you’d complain to the ticket office they would tell you, “You can just sell the tickets you don’t use on StubHub.” This cause a glut of tix on the site, so people had to drastically lower their asking price just to get some return on their investment.

  10. beefytrout - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    Clearly StubHub is damaging the nyy revenue stream… why can’t we all just admit that the baseball world revolves around them? We must destroy StubHub to save the nyy!!!

  11. scapistron - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    Randy Levine, Yankee President: Proud supporter of the RNC
    RNC: Let free markets work (one of their main talking points)
    Yankees Brass: Proponent of price fixing

    Wait, what?

    • larryhockett - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM

      Oh I think the RNC would happily support price fixing and monopolies if it thought it could get away with it. Give it a few years, they’ll get there.

  12. kingkaufman - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Are people seriously wondering what the Yankees are mad about? There is a nickel sitting on the table that could end up in the Yankees’ pocket or somebody else’s pocket. It’s not ending up in the Yankees pocket.

    Next question?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      Wait, i don’t get it?

      /sarcasm

    • 18thstreet - Apr 24, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      Is this really King Kaufman? Because that would be sorta cool. And if someone is PRETENDING to be King Kaufman, that would be rather odd.

  13. steelhammer92 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    They weren’t complaining when StubHub was selling their World Series ticket prices at record prices a couple years ago. Want to know something even more ironic? The Yankees put their own tickets for sale on StubHub. they”ll sell thousands of their own ticket stock to regular season and postseason games. It’s a widespread practice in the MLB, and the Yankees are among the biggest culprits. And make no mistake about it, the Yankees get some of the revenue generated from the sales on StubHub.

    They just sound like a bunch of spoiled brats. Then again, I guess they always have been.

    • dowhatifeellike - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      That must be why they’re upset. The Yankees are trying to sell their product on StubHub, but they’re being undercut by people who can’t go to the game and just want a couple bucks in return.

    • tomtravis76 - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      All prosports teams put their unsold inventory on the various secondary market sites, alot of fans still don’t know that you can buy tickets directly from teams, they have stubhub abd ticketmaster in their heads as places to buy.

      Get a rep desperate enough to make a sale and you can get all service fees waived along with a great seat selection.

  14. biffnasty - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    I get it, the Yankees don’t have enough money as it is. As if paying $11 dollars a beer isn’t too expensive, I can totally see why the yanks should be angry. Greedy idiots

    • dowhatifeellike - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      $11 beer? Just do what we do in Baltimore – buy a 6-pack of your soda of choice, dump 1/4 out of each bottle, replace with rum of your choice and close them back up. 120oz. of rum and coke for about $10.

  15. thefalcon123 - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Hehehe….

    When I clicked on this article, I was thinking “Right On! The Yankees are annoyed at the legal version of scalping that’s going on, often causing event tickets to skyrocket. People purchase butt loads of tickets with no intention of going to the showing, forcing people to pay exorbitant prices through stubhub, like the time I had to pay nearly $200 a piece of Descendents tickets. What a way to stick up for your fans!”

    …Alas. Instead they are upset because people are finding discounts to the insanely priced Yankees stadium.

  16. racksie - Apr 24, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    I’ve scored free tickets from a corporate source, and basically been held hostage outside the stadium by the scalpers, and watched the people sit down next to me and tell me they paid 100% over what I sold them for. Good for everyone involved. This is Yankee whining at it’s worst. Why do I always see empty seats behind home plate at every televise game? Because they are overpriced, corporate tickets. And the people who control those tickets, don’t want “the common folk” to get to sit there.

    • mybrunoblog - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      Yes some of the seats behind home plate at Yankee Stadium go unsold but not many. The two reasons you see empty seats.
      1. Those seats allow seat holders to enjoy complimentary food and soft drinks in The beautiful club below the 2nd level seating. Unlimited food, soda, deserts, candy, etc. That area also has couches, large video screens televising the game, bars, etc. Lots of those fans simply stay in there during most of the game.
      2. Most of those seats are corporate season seats sold well before opening day. Not a big deal for a corporate big wig to skip he game at eat the $2600 his company dropped for 2 seats. It is a tax write off anyway.

      • racksie - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        Oh, I get all of that. Actually got to enjoy the Champions Club at Target Field. But I did not see a comparable number of people enjoying the pesto gnocchi, as I did empty seats.

  17. yankeesfanlen - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Thanks for blowing up my scam, Craig. The cheap tickets are the only way to keep an excursion to the Cathedral at a C-note.

  18. dowhatifeellike - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    I think they’re still bitter that Bloomberg overturned Giuliani’s sweetheart deal where taxpayers would have paid for half of the new stadium, the Yankees would have kept 96% of ticket revenue and 100% of all other revenue, no sales tax or property tax, and special low electricity rates.

  19. jwbiii - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    A quick scan of the Yankees box office and Stub hub:

    Grandstand/Infield Nosebleeds as season tickets, $28.00
    Box office; $37.80 (Tigers, weekend) and $20.20 (Orioles, weekday)
    Stub Hub: $22.00 (Tigers) and $6.00 (Orioles)

    Grandstand/Outfield Nosebleeds, N/A as season tickets*
    Box office: $27.80 (Tigers) and $15.20 (Orioles)
    Stub Hub: $16.00 (Tigers) and $3.00 (Orioles)

    The upper deck inexpensive seats are selling for between $12 and $15 below face value. The Yankees have embraced the variable pricing concept; so have their ticket holders. What were they expecting? The profit they make from a scorecard, a hotdog, and two beers (my typical ballpark concession purchases (maybe not the hotdog, I can generally get a better deal on food outside the park)) should more than cover the cost of the seat they didn’t sell.

    I will also mention that there are many seating areas in NYS which are wheelchair accessible. As a person with a quadriplegic friend, this is nice. The options at Wrigley (great seats, discount prices) and The Cell (not so great seats, regular prices) are very limited. Hat tip to the Yankees, although that may have been an ADA requirement for new construction.

    *These are not available as season tickets now. they may have been at some point in the past.

    • jwbiii - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      As a side note, I had the opportunity to sit next to Ted Radcliffe in the handicapped section at The Cell. That man saw more baseball than any of us likely will and was more than happy to talk about it to a fan who was interested. I’ve never had a better neighbor at a ballgame (apologies to my wife and mother).

      • jwbiii - Apr 24, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        A down thumb for watching a game and having a two and a half hour conversation with this guy? He was 100 years old but sharp as a tack.

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Double_Duty_Radcliffe

  20. DaGooch1979 - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Stubhub is the main way that I get Yankee tickets. I work on the East side and live in the Bronx so it’s easy for me to decide to go to a game on a whim and when I do I use Stubhub and get cheap Terrace and Grandstand seats. I’ve also gotten some really nice seats. Last season in September, I got a Sec. 117A, Row 28 ticket for $50 (including SH’s fees). Sure to the Yankees, it’s not great that the prices are so low, but the way I see it, those are already bought tickets, so buying tickets from Stubhub means I’m at a LOT more games and I’m spending money on concessions when I could just as easily be watching from home.

  21. stultusmagnus - Apr 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    i’m a yankees fan but it’s hard to like those a-holes. prices are already way too high and i rarely have a desire to see a game when i know i’ll get crappy seats and STILL spend $100 on a ticket and some beers. if there are below face-value tickets, they are probably still overpriced compared to 90 percent of other MLB teams. let some poor people go to a game, turds!

  22. shzastl - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    I’m surprised anyone would bother to sell a ticket for $3 on stubhub. After Stubhub and paypal take their cuts, you probably only net 50 cents. I’d rather wipe my *** with the ticket than take the time to upload the tickets etc. for a few pennies.

  23. rcali - Apr 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Freddy Garcia, Phil Hughes, Hiroki Kuroda, Ian Nova? You want me to pay full price to watch these guys pitch? Sorry, I’m not a major corporation buying your seats just to give to clients.

  24. millmannj - Apr 24, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Every week I get an e-mail from the Yanks offering $5 seats for weekday games (which normally go for $20-35/seat). Guess it’s OK if the Yanks are the ones undrcutting and screwing over their season ticket holders.

    By 2013, the Yanks will have their own in-house secondary ticket selling service, and I guarantee you the sellers will not be able to list them under face value.

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