Teams Scalping Their Own Tickets

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Teams scalping their own tickets – fast becoming the norm
A report in Wednesday’s St. Louis Post Dispatch suggested the State of Missouri is set to legalize ticket scalping. According to the report once the state’s politicians change the law, the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams will both create ticket reselling sites offering Cardinals and Rams fans the opportunity to resell tickets they have at whatever price the market determines with both franchises collecting a percentage of the price. In the ever increasing secondary ticket marketplace not only are sports teams seizing the opportunity, but more teams are following the example the Detroit Tigers established during the 2006 World Series – creating their own ticketing websites and collecting their share of the “Vig”, a significant percentage of the price the tickets are sold for (what the Cardinals and Rams are set to introduce).

For the Tigers who have the second best record in the American League, their ticketing website has been dubbed Tigers Ticket Exchange, and the World Series served as the ultimate test for the Tigers.

How did the Tigers Ticket Exchange work during the Tigers 2006 post-season run? According to the teams’ website as simple as this -- season ticket holders, were offered the opportunity to use the Tigers Ticket Exchange to resell their 2006 postseason tickets for games at Comerica Park.

If you couldn’t use all of your postseason tickets (or figured out this was nothing more than a moneymaking scheme offered to Tigers season ticket holders), you could have made them available to other Tigers fans with this efficient and easy-to-use service. As a full season ticket holder, you post your available unused tickets and name the price you want for each ticket (that in part taken from the Tigers promo material).

Buyers can view and select the tickets that meet their game, price and seat location needs. The Tigers Ticket Office conducts the transaction from season ticket holder to purchaser to ensure a safe and secure exchange.

All payments are made directly to the Tigers. Tickets are e-mailed to the buyer and they are able to print their tickets at home. If a potential postseason game is not played, the Tigers Ticket Office will refund the purchase to the new ticket buyer. It's that easy!

However, while it may be easy, the Tigers Ticket Exchange operates under the principal of the free market system. The system allowed Tigers season ticket holders to sell tickets at whatever price they determined. Four days before the start of the 2006 World Series, there were 169 different ticket offers for game one of the 2006 World Series. Tickets with a face value of $250 per ticket, a ticket price established by Major League Baseball, were offered for sale at $8250 per ticket. The least expensive tickets with a face value of $75 were being offered at a cost of $572 per ticket.

The concept of offering your season ticket holders an opportunity to resell their tickets for games they cannot attend is a great example of customer service. Trying to attend 81 baseball games is a near impossibility. A season ends and a drawer full of unused tickets sends the worse possible message to season ticket holders. At the very least season ticket holders pause and wonder if it makes sense to own season tickets if the tickets can’t even be given away to certain games. A ticketing reselling program helps to ease that challenge.

The Cleveland Indians created a ticket page on the teams’ website to assist Indians season ticket holders in reselling tickets they’d like to sell for any game. It’s very similar to the Tigers website, with one very important difference; you cannot sell tickets above the face value of the tickets. The Indians’ created their secondary ticketing opportunity after Jacobs Field major league 455 game sellout streak ended. Since the Indians sellout streak ended early in the 2001 season, the Indians have sold out a handful of games. By...
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