Jacoby and Roberts on Ticket Scalping

Lynne Kiesling

Jeff Jacoby has a nice column in yesterday’s Boston Globe on ticket scalping laws, and how they are being eliminated in some states but not others. He picks up on some of the same themes that Mike did in his recent post about how Major League Baseball has jumped on the StubHub bandwagon and will establish a formal ticket resale relationship with StubHub.

Another innovation I’ve seen is Ticketmaster’s online auctions of premium seats; for example, Ticketmaster Canada is running auctions for upcoming Police concerts in Toronto, for seats in rows 1-6 on the floor. Of course, this innovation is both a substitute for StubHub and a complement to StubHub, because auction winners can still choose to resell their tickets on StubHub. Mike wrote about Ticketmaster’s auctions back in May 2006.

I love this evolution, as an example of how technology can change the appropriability of rents in this market. The Internet and new business models increase the ability of firms like StubHub/eBay, the artists/sports teams, and consumers such as season ticketholders to extract rents arising from heightened demand for some tickets to some events.

Interesting side note: before last Saturday’s Cubs/Mets game here at Wrigley, standing room only tickets were going for $75 on the street. Yikes!

Thanks to Russ Roberts for the Jacoby link, and for his podcast on scalping that he links to in that post.

One thought on “Jacoby and Roberts on Ticket Scalping

  1. More and more states are changing the scalping laws to either make them more lenient or just getting rid of the law completely. There are a few bumps to removing the laws. When Hannah Montana had her tour and the parents had to pay hundreds of dollars to get tickets, this resulted in a bunch of lawsuits and a call for many state houses and state senates to start writing bills. No bills making it harder to flip tickets were passed. Instead bills making it easier to flip tickets were passed.

    Here is my big question I want someone to answer. When I flip a house everyone thinks I am a swell guy and wants to know how I did it. There are even cable TV shows about it. When I flip a ticket, many people think I am a bad guy. Some how I am taking away peoples “right” to go to an event. Flipping a house cost average Joe more money than flipping a ticket. A house is a need. A concert is a want.

    There is a good blog about this – http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=385043820.

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