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:
“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.
“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.