As many of you now know, the Yankees have opted out of MLB’s partnership with StubHub, the
official ticket re-seller, following the sight of hundreds of empty seats in Yankee Stadium during the
In a shortsighted bit of PR, the Yankees are attempting to justify the move by expressing concern
over counterfeit tickets. Most people understand what the Yankees’ real motivation is: to continue
to charge absurdly high prices for tickets and avoid answering to a growing market revealing what
tickets are really worth.
That said, however, expect the Yankees to continue down this road. They will likely devise an ad
campaign promoting their new Ticketmaster-run Ticket Exchange, especially during game broadcasts
on the YES network. You can bet that they will play up the angle of counterfeit tickets in the ads for
the Ticket Exchange.
The idea is, of course, to get you to stop trusting StubHub and use the Yankees’ Ticket Exchange
instead. So should we?
At the moment, the answer is no. I am still trying to sort out what the whole deal means to people
accustomed to using StubHub, but here’s what I know so far.
For starters, Yankees tickets sold on StubHub cannot be e-mailed to buyers anymore, so obviously
on game day that would be a problem…although StubHub plans to open an office near Yankee
Stadium which presumably would address that issue.
It remains to be seen whether the supply of available tickets on StubHub will drop, though. Since
Yankees season ticket holders are getting a better deal using the Ticket Exchange, and since there
will like be a minimum price at which tickets can be sold, they may decide to sell their tickets there,
which would decrease the supply on StubHub and presumably drive the price up there as well.
My guess is that people who bought $30 tickets last year will not pay $60 for the same seat this
year, but I could be wrong on that. We’ll see.
But as far as the concern over counterfeit tickets, the deal with StubHub is the same: they
guarantee your tickets up to a certain price point, $1,000 last time I looked. There is probably no
more chance that you will get counterfeit Yankees tickets on StubHub in 2013 than there was in
2012. Could it happen? I suppose. But the probability of it happening is no more now than it was. If
you trusted StubHub before…and no one I know has ever had a problem…there’s no reason for you
not to trust them now.
Remember this: the Yankees are not using StubHub’s name in their claims of concern over
counterfeit tickets. You can bet that they would name StubHub if they legally could. If you keep
in mind that the Yankees are engaging in PR to hide that they can’t sell tickets at the insane price
that they are asking, it makes sense that the focus of their press releases is counterfeit tickets,
something the team has shown very little concern for in the past.
For now, unless I hear otherwise, there’s no reason for you to be any more concerned buying
Yankees tickets on StubHub today.
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