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The Yankees continue to complain about StubHub

Jun 6, 2012, 3:00 PM EDT

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

At the end of April there was a story about how the Yankees front office hated that people could buy tickets on StubHub cheaper than they could at the Yankees’ box office. It’s now June and they’re still hating it:

Yankee Stadium attendance is down 3.6 percent so far this year — greater than the 3 percent drop last season — and the team is blaming StubHub for its gate woes.

“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.”

The only “fan-friendly” alternative that stops someone from selling something cheaper than you do is lowering your prices.  Because dudes: people are going to StubHub because people are not interested in paying what you want them to for tickets. It’s called the free market, Mr. Levine. I could order you a pamphlet on it if you’d like.

If anything, StubHub should be mad at you. The basis of the relationship they have with MLB is that you guys will sell out all the time thereby allowing them to take a cut of everything sold above face value. If you guys can’t sell your tickets they can’t truly scalp anyone and they’re losing money!

Let me know when the apology comes.

  1. 49ersgiants4life - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Haha I love the yankees complaining about how people can’t afford tickets for my family of 5 to go to a Yankees game it was around $1000 and we were on the second deck for a mets game it cost us $300 and we were 2nd row from the fence

    • purnellmeagrejr - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:49 PM

      ANother good column – increasingly I find myself in total agreement with Crag.

      • basedrum777 - Jun 11, 2012 at 11:14 AM

        I know you’re going to say its not the usual answer but my tickets to Yankees games are $20/seat in the bleachers with it having been $12/seat up until this year. I don’t go to the game to eat or drink I go to watch baseball. I do eat occasionally but its at my own disgression.

        I think the Yankees complaining about Stubhub is pretty ridiculous as they’re basically saying that they want you to buy a 20 game pack even if you can only attend 12 games and that those 8 games are not to be sold because that will prevent another person from buying 20 games. I think its kind of like a older person complaining about their work being replaced by a computer.

  2. deathmonkey41 - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    I still don’t understand HOW StubHub is able to sell the tickets for less than the Yankees? Do they get them for less than the face value because they buy in bulk or do the Yankees tack on charges that Stub Hub does not?

    • Kevin Gillman - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      I would have to say they tack on charges, because everyone gets them for face value. It’s what you do with them that can make up the differences.

    • donniebb23 - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      It’s really not StubHub who is selling the tickets for less than the Yankees. It’s the current ticket holders who are. StubHub just makes a commission as the middle man on the transaction. A typical situation would be a season ticket holder who can’t go to a game (for instance a weekday afternoon game). Most likely people won’t be willing to pay the $50 face value for a mediocre seat, so the prices drop to, say, $25. It’s really the original ticket holder who gets screwed. They wind up paying $25 for the privilege of not going to the game.

      • hansob - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:22 PM

        often times, the season ticket holders get a discount off the “face values”. My Twins partial season ticket package was something like 25% cheaper than if I’d bought all the tickets a la carte. So selling a few here and there for “half off” is really not half off to the season ticket buyer.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:23 PM

        If that were the case, then wouldn’t the Yankees be getting the full value of the ticket because someone already purchased them at face value?

      • vanmorrissey - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        Right. At least the season ticket holder gets something in return for not being able to go to all their packaged games. Better than nothing.

      • clydeserra - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:42 PM

        Deathmonkey, yes, the yankees have already gotten the ticket holders money. But not the would be ticket buyer’s. If the 21st century didn’t exist, the would be buyer would have to buy directly from the yankees.

      • donniebb23 - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:26 PM

        @hansob I guess it depends. I was a Yankee season ticket holder for 3 years and it was just the opposite. Even with $20 seats I could have bought them a la carte for cheaper than paying for the full season up front. The only advantage was the post season ticket option, but that’s a different discussion.

  3. schlom - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    I don’t get this. Are they just complaining about season ticket holders selling their tickets for more than they paid for them?

    • The Rabbit - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:05 PM

      They are complaining that season ticket holders who can’t go to all the games are seliing their tickets on Stub Hub for less than what the Yankees are currently charging for tickets for that game.
      It’s the opposite of scalping…trying to get something for a ticket they can’t use rather than just throwing it away.
      BTW-I always check Stub Hub first. Even if the tickets are the same price as the tickets offered from the team’s box office, season ticket holder seats are usually in a better location.

  4. danaking - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    I still think it’s laughable MLB is okay with StubHub as a “reseller” but you can get your ass locked up for “scalping” on the street outside a ballpark.

    • skeleteeth - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      You’re not giving any of that money to MLB per chance are you?

    • kpow55 - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      It depends where you live, it’s a state law issue. Some states you can’t sell on property but you can if you’re 200 feet away, right in front of the traffic cop across the street. Other just ban certain events.

      NY though: “New York requires resellers to be licensed and to resell tickets at no more than face value of the ticket plus 45% if the venue seats more than 6,000 or the face value plus 20% if the venue is smaller.”

      • mrwillie - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:32 PM

        I realize that scalping laws pretty much never enforced, but wow, that’s a large markup that NY allows for ticket resale. In NC it is illegal to sell for more than $3 above face value. The $3 being to offset any fees associated with them… $3 would even cover the ‘convenience fee’s’ these days.

        The only time I have seen scalping laws enforced is the ACC basketball tourney in Greensboro. The actually run stings out there and arrest quite a bit of folks.

      • jwbiii - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:17 PM

        A basketball tourney is a scalper’s delight. You buy all the tickets for the games your team will play if they make it to the finals. They get bounced early, you have no desire to watch the rest of the games you have tickets for, but somebody from Atlanta or Charlottesville really, really does.

    • natslady - Jun 7, 2012 at 8:42 AM

      Really? Has that ever happened? At least in DC, as long as they are not over-aggressive, everyone and anyone can buy or sell a ticket from the guys on 1/2 Street.

  5. beeninnikes - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    I don’t see many people sympathizing with the poor ole Yankees. Heres an idea. If you are worried about stubhub, how about lowering your ticket prices and more people will buy from you and attendance will likely go up.

  6. hansob - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Yankees aren’t looking at the whole picture. Stubhub keeps empty seats full, fueling concession/merch sales. Plus, I’m pretty sure that MLB negotiated a pretty good sized chunk of the combined 25% fee that stubhub charges the buyer/seller.

  7. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    Craig put it best. Many of us can’t pay the very high ticket prices. Hell, even buying concert tickets is damn-near impossible with all of those fees.

  8. stratomaticfan - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    Yankees will lose a ton of STH after this season. The demand is down, yet they raised ticket prices this year. STHs are ticked off that the games they don’t use are basically worthless…in prior years, they could get their money out or even make money on games they didn’t go to.

  9. MattJanik - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Isn’t StubHub based largely on fan-to-fan sales? Season-ticket-holders selling their un-used tickets and whatnot?

    That’s my understanding anyway, so I fail to see how selling at less than face value means StubHub is losing money; they’re still taking a cut of the sale, no matter what the price is (plus a processing fee, minimum $5 per sale, I believe).

    They certainly make LESS money when tickets sell below face value, but I don’t think it means they’re losing money, necessarily.

    • MattJanik - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      Also, I see this point was already largely made while I was typing my comment… Whoops; yay for redundancy!

  10. mybrunoblog - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Levine and the Yankees hierarchy are not considering the other factors.
    1. It is the 4th season of the new Yankee Stadium so the newness has worn off.
    2. The Yankes have picked it up some lately but played pretty uninspired baseball the first 6 weeks of the season.
    3. We are still in a recession. Disposable income is scarce for some folks.
    4. The proliferation of HD tv’s in everyone’s house makes it a lot easier to stay home and watch the game.
    5. The weather has been cold and rainy all spring in the NYC area.
    6. If you take away the Marlins attendance numbers, then you would see attendance is mostly down as a whole for MLB this year.
    7. Yankees tickets are overpriced!

    • sdelmonte - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:07 PM

      I can dispute point 5. We had some really nice days early in the season, and it seemed like we were getting an early summer.

    • jwbiii - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:25 PM

      Point #6: Attendance is up for 19 of the 30 teams.

      Don’t you ever get tired of being completely wrong?

      • mybrunoblog - Jun 6, 2012 at 8:15 PM

        Attendance for 19 teams is up but the numbers are not super encouraging. Less than 2000 fans per game on average is the improvement. Nothing to jump for joy over. Factors like the Marlins new ballpark, Bryce Harper hysteria, and a few teams that are playing well that haven’t played well in a while have pumped up some numbers.
        Big market teams like Yankees, Mets and White sox are down. Boston sell out streak is over and they are up less than 150 fans per game which essentially means the Red Sox attendance is statistically flat.
        I guess we could look at as the glass is Ether half full or half empty…..I choose to fill the glass with some ice cold adult beverage and watch some baseball.

  11. jams56 - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    @49ersgiants4life I don’t know what you’re talking about because I’m going to the Yankees game on sat I’m in sec 135 row 18 and for five tickets it was 435 and that was right from so I’m pretty sure you got ripped.

  12. djstat - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    I hate that stub hub can buy up hoops tickets and sell them at high prices!

  13. hisgirlgotburrelled - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    “We are reviewing more fan-friendly alternatives…”

    What the hell is more fan-friendly than reduced/more affordable ticket prices, and filled seats?

  14. brewcrewfan54 - Jun 6, 2012 at 3:58 PM

    People being able to purchase tickets at a lower price is something that should raise attendance. The Yankees need to quit blaming StubHub for their continuing falling attendance and figure out what THEY are doing wrong. And aren’t the tickets on StubHub usually just seats that are being resold after already having paid face value for them?

  15. ezthinking - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    StubHub resells tickets. THAT MEANS THE TICKETS WERE ALREADY SOLD BY THE YANKEES! If he’s bitching about butts in the seats, that’s still not a StubHub problem as they only resell tickets that ARE ALREADY SOLD. (I almost never use caps, but it seems no one is getting this).

    There are two scenarios I see from this:

    1. Levine is an unadulterated moron that does not understand what StubHub is; or,
    2. Levine is a shareholder in StubHub and is trying to get more visitors to the site to resell more tickets and increase commissions.

    • sabatimus - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:31 PM

      I’ll go with Door Number One.

  16. celauritz - Jun 6, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    It seems his issue is that he wants people that want tickets to have to buy direct from the Yankees, basically wasting the tickets of the people that don’t want to go to the game.

    He wants to make the tickets non-transferrable. Why not just put names on the tickets and check ID’s? See how many tickets get sold then. Dumbass.

    • 24missed - Jun 6, 2012 at 11:04 PM

      Last season, there was a mix-up between the stubhubber (is that a word?) and I. We both had the tickets to the same seats. He really meant for two of the four tickets to be sold and two for him. It worked out just fine and everyone was cool.

      And yes, to the poster below, the games cost a fortune. If you can get $150 per person, you are good to go, throw in fees, etc. I always try to bring a power bar and down a water or two. You can save $$ that way even though I know most people don’t find it as fun.

      Are the Yankees the only ones commenting on Stubhub? I haven’t heard this from other teams. You’d think other teams would have some comments.

  17. snowbirdgothic - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    I explain.

    No, is too much. I sum up.

    Let’s say Joe Fan wants to go to a Yankees game with his kid. He looks at and sees that a pair of good seats costs $500. Hey, it’s a couple of car payments, but it’s good seats, right, and Junior gets to enjoy the game.
    Next, Joe looks at, where a season ticket holder who can’t go to the game is re-selling his seats in that same section for $300. This, clearly, is a better deal for Joe. It’s the same seats, but 40% cheaper. So, buys from Stubhub.
    Joe wins, because he got the same good for less money. The season ticket holder wins, because he got $300 (less fees) of his $500 back, which is better than getting $0 back. And the Yankees, in this case, lose, because what they want is for the season ticket holder to eat his ticket and force Joe to shell out that $500 directly to them. That’s what Levine is complaining about – the fact that there’s now a semi-free market for those tickets that no longer guarantees them first/best crack at your wallet.
    Now, the model was /supposed/ to work such that every game would sell out, and demand for a scarce good (tickets) would drive up prices at the secondary retailer (Stubhub). This would drive consumers to the cheaper alternative: the Yankees. Unfortunately for Levine, that model only works if you are in fact selling out every game and demand becomes greater than supply. Right now, that is most emphatically not the case. Blame whatever you want – idiotic pricing schemes by the Yankees, the economy, rumors that ‘cepts was living in the steam tunnels under the stadium or whatever, but this is what’s called a market correction, and blaming Stubhub is a lot like blaming Moog for putting player piano manufacturers out of business.

  18. footballisking - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Got to love how he is hiding his greed of wanting to monopolize the fan into paying the over priced rate they charge as oppossed to a cheaper rate online (which is more fan friendly, and the yankees already get their money either way, and has no bearing on lowering attendance it obviously raises it because allows more fans to purchase tickets)…but no worries yankee fans he wants you to be backed into a corner and pay the over-priced rate becasue it is “fan friendly”……but by all means keep trying to use the p.r spin that you are doing the fans a dumb do the yankees think people are, that they say dumb stuff like this

  19. jlovenotjlo - Jun 6, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    F*CK the Yankees. That is all

    • dexterismyhero - Jun 11, 2012 at 1:32 PM


      What does Hank think?

  20. millmannj - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    The Yankees will create their own “secondary market” ticket selling website in 2013. You will be unable to post your tickets for less than face value. They will also threaten any season ticket holder who sells their tickets on StubHub with the revocation of their seats. This is what Randy Levine means by “fan-friendly alternatives.”

    • sabatimus - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:30 PM

      Question is, how would the Yankees KNOW if a season ticket holder sold seats on StubHub? How would they enforce that?

      • Kevin S. - Jun 6, 2012 at 7:50 PM

        Have some intern check StubHub listings against season ticket seats.

  21. sabatimus - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Very well said, Craig. I remember when the new Yankee Stadium hosted games in it’s first year, and I kept seeing empty seats behind home plate, for all the TV audience to see. Who wants to pay $1,000 a seat or more? Especially in this economy.

  22. foodforthesoul28 - Jun 6, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Here’s an idea, Don’t spend a billion bucks on a new ballpark.

  23. blazertop - Jun 6, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Wow, I’m reading about $1000, and $500, etc…. For one baseball game?? Are you kidding me?? Something very wrong here.

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