StubHub and Major League Baseball

Michael Giberson

It’s been a while since we’ve commented on the secondary market for sports event tickets. Partly, I think, the practice has become legal and common in most circumstances and the on-line markets make the practice more transparent. What was once a seemingly repugnant transaction has been normalized. Or, at least, it is becoming normalized.

At the same time, the expansion of the ticket resale market does have some effect on the one issue at the heart of the sports business: revenue. If you want to get up-to-date on ticket resales and baseball, Dennis Coates at The Sports Economist points to a story from the Sports Business Journal about StubHub, MLB, and other resellers.

Uncapping prices in secondary ticket markets

Michael Giberson

David Harrington has an article in the new issue of Regulation on the consequences of state repeal of laws that put caps on ticket resale prices: “Uncapping Ticket Markets.” Harrington used StubHub data to compare NHL ticket resale prices in states that repealed price caps on resales to prices in states that hadn’t changed laws. As the article subhead puts it: “In hockey at least, liberalizing scalping laws has benefited fans.”

Who likes ticket scalpers?

Michael Giberson

Al Roth at Market Design, directs our attention to The Ticket Economist:

Grownup economists recognize that there’s a place for secondary markets, but I wonder if a convention of ticket re-sellers doesn’t have something of the flavor of a sex-workers’ conference, in the sense that the participants are engaged in an industry that is often viewed as repugnant, and which is hemmed in by legal constraints that are sometimes ignored.

My attention was drawn to the conference by one of the speakers, Christian Hassold, who I met when he did an undergrad thesis on secondary ticket sales. … [Hassold], who is now off in the entrepreneurial world, has continued to write about ticket sales on his blog The Ticket Economist.

He always seemed like the kind of guy you would like to take in a game with, and it turned out that he’s good at getting tickets too: his blog mixes reviews of news and scholarship with some practical advice: see e.g. Buying from a Scalper? Five Do’s and Don’ts, and Bargaining for Tickets on the Street. [Links in original.]

Hassold highly recommends a paper by Phillip Leslie and Alan Sorensen: “The welfare effects of ticket resale.”