Do the Yankees Know They Aren’t Worth their Ticket Prices?
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Johanna's View
by Johanna Wagner
Do the Yankees Know They Aren’t Worth their Ticket Prices?
This post was written by Johanna Wagner on December 12, 2012
Posted Under: Johanna's View

While there are a ton of trades and deals being finalized today with free agents, one deal that affects fans in three big markets has nothing to do with on-field talent.  The Yankees, Cubs and Angels are all opting-out of a five year deal with MLB, that allows season ticket holders to resell their tickets through the team’s website.

Currently, a ticket holder could open up their package and resell any ticket for any price.  The team had already made money on that ticket when it was sold the first time.  On this second deal, fees are added to the ticket holders price.  Those fees go to a combination of StubHub and to MLB.  The fees paid to BAM (MLB Advanced Media) are then shared among all 30 teams, including the teams that originally sold the ticket.

In the case of the Yankees, it seems the team objects to the fact that the ticket holder can sell their ticket for as little as $1- decreasing the value of other ticket holders’ tickets.  They wanted a minimum ticket price placed on the resold tickets- which StubHub refused to do. The Yankees have said that this devaluing isn’t friendly to fans- but of course, we know it really just isn’t friendly to the Yankees.  They must realize that if fans can continue to get below market tickets from StubHub than no one will ever pay for the outrageous ticket prices again.  If the value for their product is so high, then there should never be a significant drop in price on the free market.  Apparently though that drop is high, or high enough to have them scared.

Some teams operate on the notion that even if fans get in the building, they will spend enough at the concessions to have paid the team a pretty penny. Apparently, that isn’t enough for the Yankees. And while many of those teams also benefit from being a part of this deal where the resale fees are aggregated into a big pool of money split between all clubs, the Yankees probably feel they could do better if they separate their tickets out of that pool, so only they benefit completely from the second sale of that ticket.  The Bombers pay a lot into revenue sharing as it is, by keeping their tickets out of the shared pool, they are decreasing that contribution.

So, the Yankees will go with Ticketmaster to resell their tickets.  Ticketmaster will only allow the price on tickets being resold to drop so much, but they also may not sell all those tickets.  The Yankees will still have empty seats, and ticket holders who used to know they could shed their tickets now won’t have that same experience.  Perhaps they won’t be as willing to shell out those ticket prices.

You know when the three biggest markets don’t get on board with something, it must because it doesn’t make them enough money.  These teams don’t need to care about being really friendly to fans.  They don’t care about getting new fans in their ballpark.  They don’t care about that family of 4 that couldn’t come because of the cost of tickets to the average game or because of the scarcity of affordable tickets.  No, they care about their own profits and their own press.  It is really a shame.

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