• Yankees To Institute Price Floor On Resale Of Their Tickets

    Posted by on December 19th, 2012 · Comments (14)

    Via Deadspin today –

    As we’ve told you before, StubHub has been terrible for the Yankees’ bottom line. With no price floor (this new agreement does have a negligible price floor of $6 including processing fees), in place to regulate ticket prices, StubHub users are free to sell Yankees tickets far below face value, and they have done so in droves. Now, one might think that the Yankees would see this situation as a lesson in supply and demand and go about making adjustments to their ticket prices. For instance, the team could stop selling tickets at an expensive flat price for every game, and institute dynamic prices that vary from game to game.

    Not so! Instead, the Yankees have decided to tighten their grip on the market rather than adjust to it in their new deal with Ticketmaster. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the team will institute its own price floor through Ticketmaster, which fans will be directed to via Yankees.com when they want to resell tickets. Sellers will be told that they cannot sell their tickets for less than a certain dollar amount.

    In all likelihood, this plan will not work out very well for the Yankees. For one, nothing can prevent ticket holders from selling their tickets on StubHub anyway, they will just be directed by the team to use Ticketmaster. Even if sellers do follow instructions and use Ticketmaster, the price floor is likely to alienate buyers and lead to a lot of fans passing on tickets all together. It’s hard to imagine the Yankees current merry band of old guys being enough of an attraction to push fans to pay higher ticket prices.

    It is going to be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out – both in terms of 2013 and the seasons to follow.

    Comments on Yankees To Institute Price Floor On Resale Of Their Tickets

    1. MJ Recanati
      December 19th, 2012 | 12:43 pm

      Wow, what a dumb idea by Lonn and Randy. As the article states, fans will still be able to sell their tickets on Stubhub so all this price floor accomplishes is driving business directly from Ticketmaster to Stubhub. And if the Yankees actively crack down on Stubhub then eBay and Craigslist will be the beneficiaries.

    2. December 19th, 2012 | 1:22 pm

      The thing is, with season tickets, the account number is on the tickets. And, I could see the Yankees trying to snag season ticket holders who sell them under the floor and then not allowing the holder to buy tickets in the future. Petty? Sure. But, the Yankees can be that way, sometimes.

    3. redbug
      December 19th, 2012 | 2:40 pm

      @ Steve L.:

      I had the Sunday plan for a number of years. I always used Ebay to buy and sell despite the Yankees saying I couldn’t.

    4. December 19th, 2012 | 3:43 pm

      I thought, before the StubHub deal, that the Yankees went after a bunch of people reselling and then took away their tickets. But, maybe I am misremembering?

    5. MJ Recanati
      December 19th, 2012 | 5:11 pm

      Steve L. wrote:

      The thing is, with season tickets, the account number is on the tickets. And, I could see the Yankees trying to snag season ticket holders who sell them under the floor and then not allowing the holder to buy tickets in the future. Petty? Sure. But, the Yankees can be that way, sometimes.

      Stubhub makes it relatively easily to track whether season ticket holders are selling on their service (provided that the Yankees actually dedicate someone whose full time job it is to monitor the secondary market is a different story).

      If tickets are sold on eBay or craigslist, however, the Yankees would never know. I imagine that people will flock to those avenues to the extent that (1) Ticketmaster sets a price floor and (2) the Yankees aggressively police Stubhub to make sure that their season ticket holders don’t use a “blacklisted” service in lieu of their partnerhship with Ticketmaster.

    6. Evan3457
      December 19th, 2012 | 6:28 pm

      Problem is that I was buying most of my tickets from Stubhub late on the day of the game, in the last hour or two before the “window close” at 2 hours before gametime. I didn’t mind printing out my own tickets. Now that option will be gone, and I’ll have to decide well in advance. I don’t do that, for reasons of bad weather, how I feel that day, whether or not I have time that day.

      So I guess I’ll stop going altogether. Oh, well.

    7. KPOcala
      December 19th, 2012 | 6:29 pm

      I wonder what legal ground the Yankees have, regarding the control of sold tickets?

    8. BOHAN
      December 20th, 2012 | 4:24 am

      What do the Yankees care if they already got the money from season ticket holders??? Would they rather those season ticket holders not use/sell the ticket and have or empty seats? or make a profit on those tickets??? I don’t understand the problem. Maybe I’m missing something.

    9. redbug
      December 20th, 2012 | 7:05 am

      @ BOHAN:

      I think the problem for the Yanks is that as season holders get less and less $ back on re-sales, they’ll be more who decide not to buy season packages the following year.

    10. Raf
      December 20th, 2012 | 7:18 am

      A voice from a season ticketholder…

      Still, I’m not a fan of ticketmaster, so I freely admit bias.

    11. MJ Recanati
      December 20th, 2012 | 8:11 am

      @ Raf:
      That’s a good post and probably a potentially fair portrayal of events that led to the Yankees’ decision. I share your bias against Ticketmaster and, as the second commenter to that post suggested, the secondary market is always harmed when Ticketmaster is involved.

      It ultimately depends on which constituency you are asscoiated with. As a partial season ticket holder, I appreciate that the Yankees are trying to preserve the value of my tickets. As someone that occasionally supplements my season tickets with ad hoc buying on the secondary market, a move to Ticketmaster sucks.

    12. Garcia
      December 20th, 2012 | 9:53 am

      The Yankees are doing everything possible to have me root for the team, but wish for the absolute worst to the front office.

      A dichotomy for sure. I love seeing the Yanks win ANDI love seeing the place empty because of their outrageous ticket prices. I think I’ll keep rooting that way, if they lose and become a shitty team as a result…well…so be it…humility is a bitch sometimes, even if it feels like I’m cutting off my nose to spite my face.

      The moves by the FO are uninspiring, the price of tickets are keeping me away, so it seems like the Yankees are getting exactly what they wanted.

      The Roman empire declined over time, nothing lasts forever, the Yankees will go through a really hard 10 year period. At that point they’ll see that they can’t keep doubling down on ticket prices. Just ask James Dolan if it worked for the Knicks.

      Hey Randy Levine, EFF YOU!!!!

    13. BOHAN
      December 21st, 2012 | 4:54 am

      @ redbug:
      Good point didn’t think of it like that.

    14. ken
      December 22nd, 2012 | 9:54 am

      The Yankees want to be like Wall Street and follow the heads-I-win, tails-you-lose model of economics. On WS, the big banks make bets and keep the winnings but when they lose big then they get bailed out. For the Yankees, they want a bigger piece of the ticket action when they can re resold for more than face value but then let the ticket holder eat the loss when the resale value is a fraction of original cost.

      And BTW, let’s remember that this same greed is what resulted in a stadium with empty seats for playoff games, the ‘moat’ section behind home plate, and quiet fans far removed from the field which eliminates the intimidation factor of the old stadium…. But you can see the field from the concession line so maybe it’s not so bad after all?

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