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Since when were “counterfeit tickets” a problem at Yankee Stadium?

Feb 13, 2013, 8:24 AM EDT


The Yankees have had a long battle with StubHub, the team’s former secondary market reseller. They were mad that StubHub was selling tickets below the cost of the Yankees’ box office, thereby — in the Yankees’ view — undermining box office ticket sales as people waited for cheaper seats to come onto the secondary market.

Shorter version: the Yankees didn’t like that StubHub was doing what it had contracted with the team to do.

Now, I can’t recall any time when the Yankees, faced with this clear market issue brought on by its own ticket prices, actually considered dropping its own prices to lure customers, but that’s neither here nor there. We can’t expect for-profit businesses to understand and adhere to the rules of supply and demand. In such things lie madness!

Anyway, over the winter the Yankees cut ties with StubHub and started a new resale partnership with Ticketmaster, called the Yankees Ticket Exchange. It has price floors and things that the Yankees feel will help them out financially. Good for them.

Except yesterday, in officially announcing the Exchange, Hal Steinbrenner said this:

Hal Steinbrenner, the team’s managing general partner, said the new marketplace would use exclusive bar-code technology to guarantee that tickets were authentic. Steinbrenner also said the new exchange would dovetail with the online accounts that season-ticket holders use.

“It is unfortunate that unscrupulous resellers utilize deceptive practices and tactics and employ unofficial Web sites, all of which give rise to counterfeit tickets,” Steinbrenner said in a statement.

I spent a decent time on the Google machine this morning and I can’t find any reports of “counterfeit tickets” being an issue at Yankee Stadium. I can find lots of team complaints about StubHub. I can find lots of fan complaints about the Yankees’ ticket prices being too damn high. But while I’m sure someone, somewhere, has been taken in by a scammer printing up fake tickets, I can’t find one example of a significant counterfeit Yankees ticket operation. Certainly not one attributable to loose security protocols connected with the Yankees’ deal with StubHub.

All of which makes this sound a lot like politicians who go on about “voter fraud.” It sounds scary and if it’s really happening in any significant way it truly is a bad thing. But in reality it’s not anything approaching a significant problem and the fearmongering about it is a cover for efforts to change election rules in a way that they believe will benefit them.

Same with the Yankees. They’re clearly doing something that is designed to make them more money and which will serve to anger fans who used to like to go to StubHub for el cheapo tickets. Rather than just leave it at that, however, Hal throws up the counterfeit ticket bogeyman to make it seem like what the Yankees are doing is more noble and fan-friendly than it really is.

You’re trying to make more money, Hal. It’s OK that you are. It’s your business. But just admit it, OK? Don’t treat your fans like idiots.

  1. uyf1950 - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    To quote a State Farm commercial “it’s on the internet and they can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true.”

    • timmmah10 - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      UH…. Bonjour?

  2. sophiethegreatdane - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    Well, it’s entirely possible that we have not heard of the problem. I find it interesting that they talk about “new barcode technology” in the statement. It sounds to me like someone was making up counterfeit tickets that actually worked. Until now, I would have simply assumed that the counterfeit ticket would not scan correctly at the gate, and the counterfeiter wouldn’t care because they already had their money (cash, likely). Seems to me that an organization running this kind of scam wouldn’t care if the barcode was real, or taken from a box of Pop Tarts. (I’ll take strawberry, please.)

    If the fake tickets actually worked, the Yankees would be somewhat disinclined to spread the word via the press in order to minimize the bad press, as well as any potential copy cats who could try the same thing.

    • snowbirdgothic - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:54 AM

      It’s “exclusive barcode technology”, which I suspect is a lot like “Fresh minty flavor”. Given the choice between A)a blowhard billionaire with a long track record of overselling his case in the hunt for more profit and B)a mysterious new stealth barcode theft technology that’s so good the Yankees fear mentioning it except obliquely flooding the streets of the Bronx, I’m inclined to go with A.

    • paperlions - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      The only counterfeit tickets that could possibly work are general admission tickets that don’t have seat assignments….otherwise that whole, “hey, someone is in my seat” thing would be a tip off. And it this day and age you can rest assured that if there was just one incident of a counterfeit ticket being purchases/used the Yankees would send out a press release to everyone warning them against such tickets and to buy tickets directly from the team to ensure their authenticity. The fact that there are zero such stories or announcements indicates that Hal is full of shit.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:30 AM

        paperlions, you will have to forgive me. But no where in the above “excerpt” do I see where Hal specifically referenced the Yankees in his comment about “counterfeit tickets”. In fact again according to the piece all he says and I quote ““It is unfortunate that unscrupulous resellers utilize deceptive practices and tactics and employ unofficial Web sites, all of which give rise to counterfeit tickets,” Try as I might I see no reference to the Yankees in fact that appears to me to be a general observation on his part.
        Now if it’s your contention that there are not and never have been counterfeit tickets sold I think that maybe a bit naive. If there are people out there that can counterfeit currency and pass it, what makes you believe that there aren’t counterfeit tickets to sports events being sold every day out there. That’s just my opinion.

      • rayswhitesuit - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:12 AM

        uyf1950, if we go with your position, one could surmise that Hal is making this statement with the implicit goal of somehow linking Stub Hub to such counterfeit tickets. And why would he do that? Because perhaps he is hearing complaints from fans who are upset that their pathway to premium seats for less than premium pricing has now been slammed shut.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        My friend I only point out that no where in his statement did Hal refer to the Yankees. And as such one could interpret those comments to be of a generic nature. Since none of us can read his mind to assume otherwise makes an ASS out of U and ME (assume).

  3. a125125125 - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    Stub Hub has a fan guarantee……if you purchase counterfeit tickets from them, they will refund your money.

    • timmmah10 - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      How very scrupulous of them…

  4. mybrunoblog - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    It looks like Stub Hub won’t be bullied by the Yankees. According to a report I read today Stub Hub is opening a ticket office across the street from YankeenStadium. Your move Hal…….

    • mybrunoblog - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:10 AM

      The story was in the Wall Street Jounal 2/11/13. Last paragraph of the story about the Yankees and Stub Hub.

  5. bolweevils2 - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    I suspect that, in theory if fan demand had exceeded the supply of tickets at the Yankees’ pricing, therefore resulting in the sales price on StubHub being much higher than what the Yankees charged, they wouldn’t have been happy about that either.

    • 18thstreet - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      I never understand complaints about overpriced tickets. If something’s overpriced, don’t buy it. We’re not talking about a necessity here.

      • hockeyflow33 - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        It’s overpriced because it’s above what the market is willing to pay. People are willing to go to Yankee games at reasonable prices; which it seems as if StubHub was offering.

  6. oldnumero7 - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    Because of the contract MLB has with StubHub, season ticket holders (I am one) can already enter bar code data to verify tickets. And buyers can choose to only but electronic-download tickets, whose bar codes have been certified.

  7. sdelmonte - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    Insert angry fans complaining about counterfeit third basemen here.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      Brandon Inge went to the Pirates.

  8. aceshigh11 - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Shows what you know, Craig.

    It’s common knowledge that Barak [sic] Hussein Soetoro stole both elections using ACORN and the New Black Panthers.

    In light of this, it’s clear that the Yankees have a very serious counterfeit ticketing problem.


    • kirkvanhouten - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      To date, I’m still terribly confused as to how ACORN could have stolen the election in 08′ as so many people seem to claim. So…they accepted phony registrations (because…you know, you don’t get to pick and choose which registrations get sent county boards. Otherwise you could just throw out all the ones that aren’t affiliated with your political party). It’s up to the county to approve them, and I can only assume that would not go ahead and register Mickey Mouse as a voter…

      Oh well. Such silly little details such as, well…logic are permantly lost on the group of people who think Jesus rode dinosaurs.

      • timmmah10 - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        Hey now… Mickey Mouse is JUST as much of a US Citizen as Barack Obama… 😛

    • jimeejohnson - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      Kleenex and Depends thanks all crybaby LOSER right wing NUTS for the increased business.

      • aceshigh11 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:53 PM

        I was being sarcastic.

        It’s sad that right-wingers are so unhinged that what I thought would be obvious parody could be taken seriously.

  9. rich7041 - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    The new Yankees/Ticketmaster agreement only means that TM is the official outlet. Fans can still buy & sell Yankees tickets on Stub Hub, they just don’t get all the benefits. TM allows “electronic transfer” of tickets, etc., whereas with Stub Hub, you’ll have to receive the actual ticket.
    Also, if I understand correctly, if a valid barcode is scanned for stadium entry, the next person using that same barcode would be denied entry. If the person holding the counterfeit ticket arrives first, the real ticket holder would be SOL.

    • dinker12345 - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      Not true… Stub Hub has been moving towards electronic tickets for some time now.

      The last 3 purchases have all been electronic. Instant transfer, upon payment.

  10. dadawg77 - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    The exclusive barcode technology just a way tickmaster will justify even moor service charges. Yankees get a kickback so they want to promote this.

  11. phuckphilly99 - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    I just love it when Craig tries to sneak in the NBC political talking points, perhaps pretending no one will notice…and then accuses others of having covert agendas. What, was Chris Matthews winning this month’s foot race?

    In case you haven’t come up from your mothers basement in a while, it’s 2013; who doesn’t have an ID these days? And don’t cite that lame “hardship” argument we’ve heard so many times. Christ, I needed to show identification the other day just to pick up a sandwich I ordered on Seamless. I suppose that’s more much important than electing our government. Oh, and those ID’s are free by way. You know, just like those cell phones. I guess identification wasn’t required then.

    Also — and this may make your large liberal head explode — but another type of “voter fraud” is campaigning as a centrist, but then governing as a socialist. Perhaps this is the fraud we should really be up in arms about. Not literally, of course. Unlike your generalization of all Republicans, I happen to be for gun control.

    • kirkvanhouten - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      “it’s 2013; who doesn’t have an ID these days?”

      Many people…the elderly can be an example

      “And don’t cite that lame “hardship” argument we’ve heard so many times”

      Why? Because it refutes your point? I should start using that as an argument point! “All dogs are blue! And don’t cite any of that ‘evidence’ that proves otherwise!”

      ” Christ, I needed to show identification the other day just to pick up a sandwich I ordered on Seamless.”

      Yes, because they type of people who don’t have IDs are also the type of people who order sandwiches off Seamless…. (also..really?!?! They made you show ID to pickup your sandwich? I’m not doubting you, but just saying that’s bananas)

      “Oh, and those ID’s are free by way.” So is signature matching, which has prevented voting fraud for a hundred years and is way easier and less hassle for everybody. And greatly decreases the likelihood the legal voters will be stopped from voting.

      “but another type of “voter fraud” is campaigning as a centrist, but then governing as a socialist.”

      As a liberal…lemme tell you, Obama ain’t even that liberal. He’s a pretty middle of the road new democrat. Virtually every democratic president from FDR to Carter were far more liberal than Obama. This is a weird conflagration of the record that I keep reading over and over again. Obama passed half-assed healthcare reform that is still the *least socialized* in the western world and gets called a socialist for it? Weird.

      “I happen to be for gun control.”


      • timmmah10 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        Here we go.

        Nothing is refuted. The government should provide IDs to those who need them free of charge. You need your proof of citizenship. This will eliminate as much cost as it incurs.

        Then these hardships or elderly can go to their magical baseball game…that is clearly more necessary from a cost standpoint than paying to get a government issued ID. sigh…

      • kirkvanhouten - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:16 PM

        “Then these hardships or elderly can go to their magical baseball game…that is clearly more necessary from a cost standpoint than paying to get a government issued ID. sigh…”


      • historiophiliac - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:06 PM

        Shhh, statistically, the elderly vote conservative. The Repubs are purging their own. Rule #1: Never get in the way of your opponent shooting themselves.

  12. pauleee - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Well, at least you can spell socialist.

    • crisisofinfinitephils - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      Yet the purpose of the reply button still eludes you….

      • dinker12345 - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        grow up……… it is an open forum, and if people chose not to reply, is it really necessary to point that out.

        pretty lame….. actually, extremely lame……..

      • crisisofinfinitephils - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        Grow up?! The Internet runs on snark. You made the wrong choice when you turned on your computer if that’s what you wanted to avoid today.

  13. dinker12345 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    1st of all, many points were made by other posters on this story, about a press release from the Yankees.

    You better, bet the house, that the Yankees, would have tried to take some form of action, if this were an issue.

    Besides, having dealt with StubHub, many, many times over the years, rest assured, I have never had a problem. Ever. They are actually one of the more reliable and trustworthy Secondary Ticket Markets in the land.

    I once had a concert that was cancelled. Before I even had the chance to call Stub Hub, and ensure a refund, they had already refunded my Credit Card with out even having me do a thing. (Stand Up Move, IMO).

    Additionally, ALL purchases on Stub Hub are garunteed for authenticy. Do I think they inspect every ticket sold on their site, NO. As that would be impossible. Oftern tickets are “drop shipped” from the seller to the buyer. Stub Hub, simply emails you a Fed Ex Shipping label. You drop the tickets in the Fed Ex envelope and attach the label, VIOLA’. you are done.

    Where you will see “Blinkers” or Fake Tickets are at BIG GAMES and you are buying off of the street. I have seen many, many fake Superbowl tickets, Big College game tickets, and the likes. But, again, it is off the street.

    If you are purchasing tickets, and have any inclination they may be fake WALK AWAY. Trust your gut, because you are probably correct. Now, if you do want to purchase said tickets. Any sclaper or ticket reseller SHOULD be willing to walk you to the gate. If they put up a fuss, give you excuses as to why he or she can not walk you to the gate, you have a problem. I walked many many people to the gate, because I had nothing to worry about. Now, you get another seller who is giving you issues about walking you to the gate, you have an issue.

    Save yourself the headache and or heart ache and just walk away. Once the game starts, ticket prices on the street take a dive in price. I got into the Ohio State/Michigan game, a few minutes after the game started for $50 each! (Where as they were anywhere from $200-$250 for upper deck before the game).

    ALSO! Most big colleges, have instituted a ticket window, at the box office for you to check the authenticity of ANY tickey. Fake tickets or “Blinkers” have become a big issue down in Columbus Ohio. Most universities are following the example set by Ohio State and creating “Authentication Windows”, where the seller should be more than willing to walk you to this window, as well.

    I hope this post helps, at least one person from getting ripped off.

    If you have any questions, please leave a response comment, and I will be more than willing to try to help.

    I just happen to be a very honest person, and I hate, I mean hate seeing anyone, any age get ripped off, for anything, especially fake tickets.

    Again, any questions? Let me know!

    Take care, and good luck!0

    ~~~~~Dinker of the 216~~~~~

    • umrguy42 - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:18 PM

      I hate to nitpick, but with all the extra punctuation in odd places in your post, I read it in Shatner’s voice.

  14. jcmeyer10 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    So they use the free market to jack up prices, but then complain when the free market works against them?

    • mazblast - Feb 14, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      Yes. That makes them either far left or far right, take your pick. Both types are so far from reality that they wouldn’t know the real world if it bit them in the a**.

  15. jimeejohnson - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    Let’s use any chance we get to spread our ignorance and whiny, bitch sentiments about LOSING TWO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN A ROW to an African-American Democrat. Right wing bastards: the stupid wing of the Republican party.

    • crisisofinfinitephils - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      Hmmm. I only see the one ingnorant post that mentioned race.

  16. joshftw - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Demand is down, but they’re making sure that prices stay high!?

    Apparently the Yankees organization has not only gotten stingy, they’ve completely lost their grip on basic economics.

    • dinker12345 - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      well put……..

      The Cubs are worse. They ARE the scalpers. They have a seperate ticket window, which they sell “Premium tickets” at extremely high prices… it is a joke.

      Yet, if I get caught on a city street by a man in blue, (a cop), I could be thrown in jail for “Scalping”, yet it is perfectly legal for the Chicago Cubs to do so.

      One thing Wrigley has going for it, is the fact the stadium is extremely small. With only 30,000 tix available for any given game, they REALLY take you to the wood shed, when you pay for a ticket.

      I went last year, mid season, when they already sucked for the year, and paid close to $90 for an Upper Bleacher ticket. Where as in Cleveland, where demand is low, you would pay $8 for a comprable ticket.

      Laws of supply and demand, period.

      But, check out the Cubs, and their lil Secondary Ticket Window, its unreal they get away with it. Or better yet, that the fans pay these prices and ALLOW the Cubs to get away with it. Pathetic, IMO….

      If you ever have any ticket related questions, shoot me a line. I am more than willing to help my fellow sports fans out!

      Take Care,

      Dinker – 216

    • bh0673 - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:50 PM

      They have lost sight of the fact those of us who buy tickets would love to get over face value for our tickets but they are blind to the fact that we are now lucky if we get face value for most games. Yes I can make a lot on a Boston and Met or weekend game but an afternoon midweek against teams like KC or Cleveland demand drops 10 fold.

    • mazblast - Feb 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      They’re the YANKEES. Basic reality is an inconvenience to be ignored.

  17. bh0673 - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    Here is the problem in a nut shell, full season ticket holders like I was, found it tougher and tougher to even get face value for our tickets. There were 34 games in 2011 I either sold for pennies on the dollar instead of eating them or ended up eating them all together. What the Yankees fail to understand is for the majority of us who are working guys and we need to be able to sell a large amount of our season in order to continue to buy the majority of games and a lot of games just will not command full price. Now as a season ticket holder what do I do hold out for what the Yankees feel the minimum should be and possibly not sell them or bail and drop the price and at least recoup some of my money instead of none of my money. The Yankee brass are beginning to act like Congress oblivious to what the real world will bear and don’t see a problem with ticket prices. Up until 2010 my tickets were $45 face value give or take a few dollars either way. In 2011 they raised the price $5.00 which we could all say should be no big deal but even the ticket brokers I had sold to puckered up their backsides and backed off or offered me less money. At the same time parking went up to $45.00 a game so between the parking and higher price of the tickets even those people I always sold to cut back. StubHub didn’t do anything wrong the prices were set by the sellers and if I wanted to sell my tickets I had to price them in line with the rest of what was being sold. Secondly and this needs to be addressed by the sports writers Stubhub will not let you be stuck with a bad ticket if it were to happen StubHub refunds the buyer all their money and goes after the sellers. Maybe Hal isn’t aware I have to have a valid credit card on file in order to sell a ticket on StubHub and they will charge my card and hold me liable if I sell bad tickets so it is safe. Secondly so far I have sold tickets on StubHub already for this year I can’t even list them yet on the Ticket Exchange and since it is my money I will sell them for whatever I can where ever I can in order to be able to afford to buy even the two partial plans I currently have. Obviously season ticket sales have been off because I have been contacted by my ticket rep more in the last two months with additional ticket package offers then I have in the last 6 years I have had season tickets on my own. IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO BUY TICKETS DO NOT FEAR STUBHUB THEY WILL NOT LET YOU TAKE A LOSS AND WILL TRY TO GET YOU OTHER TICKETS IF THEY NEED TO.

  18. janecreme - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:27 AM

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