We talked about the StubHub thing here yesterday, and the only real defense, offered both here and at Pinstriped Bible by William Juliano, was that the move is in the best interests of season ticket holder. Juliano’s claim is that StubHub is unfair to sellers, who are seeing the value of their tickets (to non-premium games they overpaid for in the first place, mind you) eroded by the secondary market. However, as Wendy Thurm gets at over at Fangraphs, that’s pretty much nonsense, and wouldn’t you know it, it all comes back to demand:
Not all teams disliked the StubHub arrangement. The Giants loved it because they made money twice on the same tickets. Beginning in 2010, and continuing through last season, the Giants have played to sell-out or near sell-out crowds. Strong demand and limited supply for Giants tickets meant higher prices on StubHub. It also meant the Giants didn’t lose many same-day ticket sales to bargain-basement prices on StubHub.
It really is that simple: if prices are too low for your liking on StubHub, it’s because there’s insufficient demand for the tickets in the market. This is even more true if you assert that the sellers would like to be getting much higher prices, and aren’t deliberately flooding the market with cheap tickets or something. If more people wanted to go to Yankees games, tickets would be selling for higher amounts on the secondary market. Period.
Not that I don’t see how it’s hard to fully grasp that. The Yankees are the premier franchise in Major League Baseball, can generally be counted on to put a playoff team on the field every year, and occupy the sport’s biggest market. By all rights, they should have the game’s most in-demand tickets (excluding the Red Sox due to the smaller capacity of Fenway Park, anyway). That they don’t suggests that the Yankees need to be doing more to make people want to come to the Stadium, not that they need to engage in further price gouging of fans.