Friday, October 19, 2007

I'm Pulling for the Patriots? Am I F-in Crazy?

Actually, no. No I'm not. I am pulling for the Pats in their battle against ticket scalping. Here's the quick rundown. The Patriots sued Stubhub (and parent company e-bay) in order to secure the names of the approximately13,000 buyers and sellers of Patriot season and individual game tickets on the site. Yesterday's ruling in favor of the Pats was on an appeal from the lower court who also sided with the team. For full details here's the article.

What I'm most happy about here is not that the big, bad NFL team is trying to get a stranglehold on their ticket sales, but rather that they are cracking down on ticket scalping and allowing fans to buy tickets at reasonable prices. In the worst case example, a 50 yd line seat for the Pats/Jets game in December is posted on StubHub for $1,300. Oh by the way, the face value: $125. So not only is this "fan" trying to unload a ticket they aren't going to use, they're trying to cover the cost of their entire season ticket package! Oh and one more aside, if that fan really "couldn't" attend the game and wanted to sell the ticket so they didn't have to eat it, they could go to Ticketmaster who has a partnership with the club and buy the ticket for face value (and the $30 or so in fees that are legal under Massachusetts law). So would you pay $150 or $1300 for the same tickets? Humm...

I think all sports fans should pay close attention to this story as this could set the precedent for other franchises to go after these jackals (you know how I feel about ticket scalpers) who do nothing more then buy the season ticket plans and resell the tickets for huge profit. Oh and Stubhub of course gets their cut (the percentage of which is not clearly labeled on their site....another indication to buyers that you are getting ripped off).

A report earlier this month praised Stubhub and the sites like it for creating a "truly transparent secondary market for tickets." Really? Which part is transparent? That fans are getting ripped off or that scalpers are buying season tickets which real fans have been waiting for (the list for Green Bay Packers season tickets is still 20 years deep) and then selling them piecemeal for huge profits?

I think all sporting teams should take this route. It's not that I don't support a secondary market for tickets, because if you've read the earlier posts about trying to get Springsteen tickets (which arrived yesterday!!!) you'll know I certainly do, but you also know (from those posts) that I detest ticket scalpers who aren't just looking to make their money back on tickets they can't use but to actually turn a profit. And for that matter, where are the DC Police during Wizard and Caps games? How is it that scalpers can sell tickets right in the front of the building? Next time you "have" to buy from a scalper, negotiate and talk them down and above all...ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS see the ticket before buying it!!

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