Secondary Markets for Tickets

Michael Giberson

I was going to post about the Washington Post‘s Sports section article on secondary markets for sporting event tickets, but the fine folks at The Sports Economist have beat me to it. In addition to the price discrimination angle that the Sports Economist notes, increased liquidity in the secondary market reduces risks to season ticket holders and will increase the demand for such packages.

Concert promoters are also getting into ticket auctions and support for secondary markets, but somewhat more reluctantly. A June 2 Washington Post story notes that music acts are sticking a toe into the auction waters under cover of charitable giving. Another WaPo story by music writer Richard Harrington covered the trend with a somewhat more negative tone. An accompanying story highlights singer Tom Petty’s effort to strike back against ticket resellers. While artists often think of resellers as profiting off of entertainment value that the artists are creating, and resent the resellers for it, they don’t see that the reseller is also creating value for consumers.

Of course the ready availability of a secondary market is going to dampen the supply for one of the perks of working in a large office: the Friday afternoon email from the VP with tickets to the weekend’s game that he can’t use. Now he’ll just resell them on Stubhub.