New York Yankees vs StubHub

The New York Yankees are known for being greedy and money hungry. As a Yankee fan myself, I always found this very frustrating and disconnecting from the experience of watching the game. The Yankees had an agreement with Ticketmaster as their official ticket resale partner. They have been battling with StubHub for quite some time and last Wednesday, this feud escalated. The Yankees created a new policy prohibiting tickets printed at home. They only accept official card stock tickets and mobile tickets from the Yankees Ticket Exchange. 

What was the reasoning behind this ban decision? At first the claim was that it was an effort to eliminate fraudulent tickets from being sold. In reality though, the reason is greed. StubHub allows users to sell tickets for any price they want and the Yankees feel that tickets sold below face-value are undercutting their revenue stream. Ticketmaster sets a price floor that makes their tickets more expensive than StubHub’s. 

As if this was not already absurd enough, Yankees COO Lonn Trost tried to defend the new ticket policy with this statement:

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nydailynews.com

“The problem below market at a certain point is that if you buy a ticket in a very premium location and pay a substantial amount of money,” Trost said on WFAN Thursday morning. 

“It’s not that we don’t want that fan to sell it, but that fan is sitting there having paid a substantial amount of money for a ticket and (another) fan picks it up for a buck-and-a-half and sits there, and it’s frustrating to the purchaser of the full amount. And quite frankly, the fan may be someone who has never sat in a premium location. So that’s a frustration to our existing fan base.”

This ban would severely limit StubHub’s client options because so many tickets are purchased digitally and it is much more convenient to upload a PDF file than to mail a physical card stock ticket.

As a fan, this makes it much more difficult to purchase a ticket last minute. Many people rely on these price drops as their only opportunity to afford Yankee tickets. It also hurts those who either have season tickets or who bought tickets and cannot make it to the game themselves. Often, in order to price competitively, especially when it’s close to game time, prices will drop well below face-value so that the seller can avoid taking a total loss.

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Via espn.go.com

“If they don’t like to use the Yankees Ticket Exchange, they can go to StubHub,” Trost said on the “Boomer and Carton” show. “We know that StubHub can transfer tickets on mobile. If they choose not to, that’s not our business.”

“The only way we can transfer tickets is if the Yankees and Ticketmaster provide us with an API (application programming interface) feed that would allow us to do that,” StubHub spokesman Glenn Leherman countered to Newsday. “It’s protected, and they have not granted us access, nor have they granted anyone access. If they wanted to grant us access, this is a different conversation.”

This will definitely affect attendance and fans are more likely to venture to Flushing to watch a better team for a better price. Not to mention creating a huge divide within the fanbase by basically saying that the rich should sit with the rich.

 

 

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NBA All Star Weekend Toronto 2016

Last weekend was full of action as NBA All Star weekend took over Toronto in a star-studded, history-making, record breaking event. The Toronto Raptors global ambassador also made his presence known in the city by using the hype around the weekend to promote his upcoming album Views from the Six.

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Drake at the All Star game wearing a jacket honoring Kobe Bryant. Via fuse.tv

Even though he didn’t perform, the weekend was still The Drake Show. And who could blame him? This was the first time in history that the All Star game was held in Toronto, and the city did not disappoint! Drake was involved in all the festivities. He coached the Celebrity All Star game Friday night against Kevin Hart, he got plenty of shout outs and had his music featured before dunks on Saturday night, and he greeted each All Star as they were introduced on Sunday before the game. He even received the key to the city from Toronto Mayor John Tory.

Tickets for the All Star Game started at around $1,500 when they were first released and All Star Saturday Night started at $630. If you were lucky enough to attend either of these events, you witnessed history in the making.

The Three-Point Contest featured incredible talent and Klay Thompson took the trophy from his teammate and reigning champ/MVP Steph Curry with a near perfect performance.

The always highly anticipated dunk contest started with relatively underwhelming performances. The crowd wasn’t really into it until reigning champ Zach LaVine went to defend his title. There were really only two players competing in this contest and Aaron Gordon gave Zach LaVine a run for his money as the two battled it out in an unprecedented three sudden death championship rounds. The judges kept awarding perfect scores and the crowd was loving every second of it.

 

This weekend is unique to other All Star games because many want to be there or watch it on TV. The NFL Pro Bowl showcases whoever decides to show up and no one really cares what happens. Tom Brady rejected a free trip to Hawaii because he just didn’t want to go. The Pro Bowl comes and goes, and despite the popularity of the NFL, the event never seems to capture much interest.

At NBA All Star weekend however, all players were present and even those who weren’t invited to participate still came out to be part of the show and experience the excitement firsthand. Not to mention this was in Toronto where the weather was about -24 degrees F with windchill. According to NBA.com, the events drew around 7.6 million viewers from around the world as well as plenty of high profile celebrities.

The NBA does what other leagues fail to achieve when it comes to All Star games. It’s not just an exhibition game, it’s a whole weekend-long event. They make the host city the hottest place to be, not only for basketball reasons, but for charity events, celebrity appearances, and exclusive parties.

This year’s game was extra special because Kobe Bryant got a tribute from players who came before and after him in an emotional video highlighting his career. His 18th and final All Star appearance was a fun and memorable night with nothing but respect toward the veteran guard. I can easily say this was one of the best All Star weekends I have ever seen and the bar has been set even higher for future years.

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The All Star game itself of course featured zero defense, ridiculously high scoring, and plenty of showboating. The final score was 196 West, 173 East and they broke the record for most points scored in a game. Russell Westbrook took the MVP trophy for a second consecutive year and Kobe received a roaring ovation as he exited the game.

Next year, All Star weekend is set to be in Charlotte, NC and we can probably expect an appearance from Cam Newton and his teammates sitting courtside.