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MLB looking at switching from StubHub to Ticketmaster

Sep 18, 2012, 2:59 PM EDT


Remember how the Yankees and some other teams were all mad at StubHub because … well, their reasoning was completely silly, but know that several teams are not happy with StubHub. Seems they’re looking at alternatives: like going with Ticketmaster over StubHub as the official resale vendor for tickets.

I’m not sure how this would make baseball teams happier, because the issue they are mad about — the secondary seller has tickets listed below box office prices — won’t be solved with Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster does resale for the NHL and the NBA and it’s the same story: if the game isn’t sold out, you can always find cheap tickets on a secondary basis.

But hey, teams could get revenge on those bottom-feeding fans they hate so much: Ticketmaster is way more annoying that StubHub and the fees are often higher, so that’d show ’em!

UPDATE:  I could be wrong about the price floors with Ticketmaster. I’m told by a couple people that they do for NHL tickets, meaning that even when a game is not sold out, you can’t get tickets from Ticketmaster below box office price.  On the other hand, I’m told that their fees are more reasonable than StubHub’s.

  1. illcomm - Sep 18, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    just less fans in the seats n concession sales. when I see tickets going for almost nothing, ill always try n go to the game. if teams limit the cheap rear tickets, more fans will just go to less games

  2. rcali - Sep 18, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Ticketmaster is pure evil. This would really be bad. Their fees and customer service are terrible.

  3. Jeff - Sep 18, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    Ticketmaster also wants it so you don’t actually buy a ticket, you lease the right to a ticket. Glad they have a secondary market to compete with StubHub, that competition will keep both in check. But if Ticketmaster has their way, you wouldn’t be able to sell any ticket on StubHub, Craigslist, or wherever because you never actually owned the ticket in the first place. All the comments on the other story is correct- the less of a deal the fan can get, the less games they’ll be going to. Let’s see how that works out for Ticketmaster LOL

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      Great point. I think Louis CK or another comedian used this feature where only the ticket-holder could use ticket via their phone app and the ticket vendor, (I believe ticketmaster), was able to block other non-registered email users who tried to use the ticket.

  4. brianbosworthisstonecold - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Actually, it’s Ticketba$tard.

  5. randygnyc - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    This is BULLSHIT. Mark my words, baseball will suffer because of this decision. People pay below face value because that’s what the tickets are worth. This will alienate many, many fans. Penny wise, pound foolish. Decent seats are $300 each at Yankee stadium. I won’t spend more than $100 each for any regular season game. Each stadium experience ensures my daughter and nephew will be lifelong fans. Take that away and baseball will miss their attendance and financial support in the future.

    • kevinbnyc - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      Agreed. I’d say your price level is higher than most. Yankee Stadium will be a LOT more empty next year if this happens.
      Personal StubHub record: Tickets for I think $8.49 each, including fees, for a Thursday day game against Seattle.

      • prmallon5600 - Sep 18, 2012 at 6:49 PM

        My record is $0.49 per ticket, before fees, for a Tuesday night Dodger game. I’ve gone to 14 Dodger games this year because of how cheap tickets have been. Invariably, I spend money on things with much higher profit margins: beer, chocolate malts, Dodger dogs, soda, and parking. I get each of those things literally every game. If those tickets get more expensive than 15-18 dollars a game, then the Dodgers lose all that money they would be making off me if I were at the game.

  6. stratomaticfan - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    By switching to TM, they’ll just have a floor for TM transactions. People will still be able to sell hard tickets through Stubhub…and ridiculously below face if they desire to. The barcoding and faster delivery/payment would switch to TM.

    Based on football stuff, Ticketmaster only has lower fees if you list directly through a team account…otherwise the fees are the same to sell as Stubhub.

  7. drunkenhooliganism - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    This would make me reconsider renewing my season tickets. I like when I can sell the games I can’t go to for more than face value, but sometimes I just need to unload them. I’d rather sell my four tickets for $150-200, and lose $50-$100, than just lose the entire $250.

    Putting an artificial floor under the prices may increase the value of resale tickets a tiny bit because people will understand the minimum they have to pay and know that it can’t possibly be cheaper, but it will also leave a lot of people with zero to show for their tickets and more empty seats where the real market for tickets could have matched up a buyer and seller.

  8. phipfwe76 - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    I don’t know if things have changed, but Stubhub always has far less fees than Ticketmaster. I’ve paid $18 in fees for a $20 ticket before, so I always use Stubhub when possible.

  9. JB (the original) - Sep 18, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    I wonder how that will work (price floors) when even the teams are selling their tickets at a discount. The Twins, like many other teams, offer a discount price to season ticket holders. I pay $40 per seat, with the games in my plan having face values of anywhere from $48-$58 depending on opponent/day of week/time of year. Well, with a trial run last year and full implementation this year, the Twins are offering “variable pricing”, ie., as it gets closer to the game date, their prices decrease on unsold tickets. Now, they’ve stated that they will never sell them for less than what STH’s pay for them, but when they’re selling them at $40 (+$7.95/order fee), I’ve got to come way down (if I can move them at all) to make up for the 15% selling fee and the 10% buyers fee to compete.

    So, I suppose the Yankees are pissed at the Twins for selling tickets for the upcoming games at Target Field at less than face value…..

  10. bigmikemdz - Sep 18, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    went looking for cheap seats for last week A/s Angels game, tickets started at under a dollar. Figured I’d get what I could for twenty, ended up filed level, three rows back. Stub Hub forever, Ticketmaster never.

  11. pheagles - Sep 18, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    I went to buy 3 tickets through Ticketmaster for a live show to take my son to. The cost of the tickets were 25 dollars a piece so naturally the price came to 137.41. I hate Ticketmaster.

    • hojo20 - Sep 18, 2012 at 7:00 PM

      Aw come on, all those fees (convenience, service, mailing) are necessary!!!

  12. coltssteve - Sep 18, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    The author obviously has no idea of the history the ticket resale business over the past five years. A few years ago, prior to baseball announcing Stubhub was the official reseller of MLB, Ticketmaster had two resale websites. The two ticket master websites were the acquisition of TicketsNow, and Ticketmaster ran resale sites for each league including the NBA, NHL, and NFL. The league sites were worthless for a season ticket holder, because you could not post tickets for less than the face value / box office price. Additionally, the funds generated from ticket sales could only be applied to your STH account. Obviously, these two caveats made the league branded resale option completely worthless / useless, and Ticketmaster subsequently collapsed all resale efforts into TicketsNow. My guess is the shift has more to do with the back end capabilities of Ticketmaster and the fact that almost every baseball team seems to use Ticketmaster for its primary ticket sales anyway. The connection between Ticketmaster and Stubhub is quite cumbersome (I speak from experience as I have sold Braves and Dodgers tickets in the past). The switch would make Ticketmaster happy because it would be a punch in the face to Stubhub. Additionally, Ticketmaster likely does more work with dynamic pricing, which several teams have been testing / using the past few seasons (SF and NY Mets, et al.).

  13. hisgirlgotburrelled - Sep 19, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    I would like to hear a debate with someone from one of these unhappy teams about reselling tickets below face value. A site reselling tickets can’t be OK with a price floor. All you’re doing is eliminating sales. If the true market value for a $50 ticket is $25 then it’s going to go unsold in the resale if you set a price floor above 50%. The result of that is a lost $25 to the site and seller and any lost consession/parking money for the team. But at least the team got their $50 in the first place, and that’s all that matters, I guess.

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