Here’s some fine print you might want to read if you plan on purchasing tickets to a New York Yankees game this season:
No one likes buying a printed-out ticket to a ballgame only to find out it’s phony, or that someone else has already used the barcode to get in. Obviously. But as Deadspin’s Tom Ley points out, the Yankees probably have an ulterior motive for this, namely that they’ve been at war with StubHub for years now. With so many tickets available on the secondary market, fans have less incentive to purchase face-value tickets directly from the team. So reading between the lines, this seems like the Yankees’ way of deterring fans from using StubHub because it gives the secondary-ticket seller one less delivery option.
Should fans still want to use StubHub to buy Yankees tickets, they’ll either have to plan ahead to get the hard-stock tickets delivered, arrive in time to pick them up at StubHub’s last-minute ticket office outside Yankee Stadium or make sure their smart-phone battery doesn’t quit at the turnstiles. No more printing them out at home or at the office.
The Yankees have a partnership with Ticketmaster, which maintains the team’s own secondary-ticket site. But unlike Stubhub, the Yankees set a price floor for every ticket that’s re-sold, meaning that $5 ticket on StubHub could be considerably more expensive when purchased through the team. Last month, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he and several other state attorneys general are investigating whether such price floors violate anti-trust laws.
StubHub has an official partnership with Major League Baseball that runs through 2017, though the Yankees, Cubs and Angels don’t take part. On Wednesday, according to Sports Business Journal’s Eric Fisher, the Red Sox also announced they were opting out of the StubHub deal to start their own secondary-ticket site. Fisher reports that the site, called Red Sox Replay, will start with a price floor of 30 percent of a ticket’s face value, though that could fluctuate through the season.
Last season, attendance at Yankees home games fell below 40,000 fans per game for the first time since 2000, though they still led the American League in average attendance for the 13th straight year at 39,430 per game.