Report: Yankees to drop StubHub in favor of TicketMaster

Update: Yankees moving closer to deal with Ichiro
Monday Night Open Thread

Via Steven Marcus: The Yankees will opt-out of MLB’s secondary ticket market agreement with StubHub and instead sign a new deal with TicketMaster. “Less fees, more fan-friendly,” said a source to Marcus about the arrangement, which is only partially true. TicketMaster will be more fan-friendly to season ticket owners because they’ll be able to get face value for their tickets through TicketExchange.

The Yankees haven’t announced anything yet, but a StubHub spokesperson confirmed they have opted out of the deal along with the Angels and Cubs. MLB’s new five-year agreement with StubHub was announced today. Team executives have openly complained about StubHub recently, claiming it artificially deflated the value of tickets and is unfair to season ticket holders. Team president Randy Levine even blamed the empty Stadium in the postseason on StubHub, which was pretty silly. I haven’t seen any firm details on the Ticketmaster deal yet so I don’t know how that will impact the secondary market, but info will trickle out eventually.

Update: Yankees moving closer to deal with Ichiro
Monday Night Open Thread
  • Esteban

    Just stubhub? What about other resellers like vividseats etc?

  • Massparking

    Tough to mention something Randy Levine says without adding “pretty silly” or worse.

    • RetroRob

      …of course, Levine has enabled to the Steinbrenners to make a billion or two more off the Yankees, which is why he is the president.

      The comment, though, is silly. TicketMaster and “fan friendly” don’t go together. What it means is it’s “Yankee and Steinbrenner” friendly. They believe they’ll make more money off of this deal than StubHub.

  • Steve

    this is what happens when stub hub actually serves a positive purpose – selling Yankee tickets routinely for cheaper than face. That’s when the ownership gets loud and says there helping the fans by stopping this outrage.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I can’t speak for what I think will happen here, as I have no clue. It’ll just be annoying to get used to a new way to find tickets.

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

      Back to the old school way of waiting till the 3rd inning and finding a desperate scalper outside the stadium

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I supported myself through high school by working for ticket brokers, camping out for tickets for concerts I had no intention of going to. Those were the days. Met girls and got a black eye from a random gang once.

        Just tell me I can tickets at a decent price next season, don’t make go through a million hoops to get them, and I’ll be fine.

        Interested in seeing how it does affect prices, though.

        • RetroRob

          Exactly. The devil is in the details here. I don’t care if StubHub or TicketMaster is the reseller. How easy is it. If the Yankees think they’ll increase attendance by going back to 1975, or 2005 for that matter, then they’re in for a shock.

          The industry is going to be moving more toward dynamic pricing that adjusts per game. It’ll take a while, but that’s the trend. Not sure what the Yankees have planned here, but hopefully they don’t shoot themselves in the foot because they don’t like the newfangled way of the Internet.

          StubHub was able to hurt TicketMaster by doing things better. In the end, better will almost always win, no matter how many Luddites resist.

          • Robinson Tilapia


          • Massparking

            yes, agreed.

    • dr mrs the yankee

      Most listing for Yankees tickets will still be on StubHub. Nobody uses TicketsNow because it is an awful service.

  • The Fallen Phoenix

    Cutting payroll’s not enough for additional ownership profits, I see.

  • Countryclub

    What’s funny is that the Yankees used stub hub as a resource when they decided to increase ticket prices a few years ago. They said they knew they could raise prices because they saw what people were willing to spend on stub hub. Now that tickets aren’t selling at the prices that they want them to sell at, stub hub is suddenly evil.

    • Massparking

      Also true!

  • Bill

    The Yankees should lower ticket prices and stop blaming stub hub

    • Tony_Turdner

      Dang rights, Bill….

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

    I’m not so sure this is going to help season ticket holders. I would think they’re gonna have to eat more of their tickets if they can’t sell them for less than face value.

    60-70% of face value is better than nothing.

  • Elton Cod

    I LOL when ownership says StubHub “artificially deflates” ticket prices. How? People are trying to resell their tickets; they find there is not sufficient demand at face value, so they have to lower the price if they want to sell it. The difference between StubHub reselling and direct sales from the organization is that the former has to actually respond to demand. Which means that direct sales from the organization actually “artificially inflate” ticket prices.

    When the “laws of supply and demand” serve people like the Steinbrenners, they are holy and good. When they do not, they are evil and artificial and must be worked around. And, as usual, the people – the fans – bear the losses (higher ticket prices, a worse team because of the manufactured budget crisis). Meanwhile the elites – the Steinbrenners – reap even greater profits than before.

    Maybe the problem is the stadium…they should build another new one. Since the Steinbrenners are so poor that they can’t even afford to sign Eric Chavez or field a complete team, the state of New York and the city will need to chip in a lot of the funding. But that’s fine, they can just raise sales tax again.

    • Robinson Tilapia


      • rEc

        Right on cue.

    • rEc

      Jock sniffing shills on this site always hate on your comments, but this post is the god damn truth.

    • Electric Nunez II (Handle stolen w/o compensatory draft picks)

      “The difference between StubHub reselling and direct sales from the organization is that the former has to actually respond to demand.”-

      How can the Yankees sell tix irrespective of demand? If that’s the case, why don’t the Yankees sell every ticket for a billion dollars each?

  • LK

    If a baseball team says they’re doing something fan-friendly, there’s almost no chance it won’t completely screw over the fans. The only Yankee games I go to are ones where I get tickets for less than face value from StubHub. If that’s no longer an option, I’ll stop going to the games, and the Yankees can enjoy their empty seats.

  • @coffeewithian

    The Yankees have said over the past few years that they want to set a floor on how low prices can be sold online for. Stubhub will still be able to sell tickets at any price but possible not deliver them electronically. Hmmm…

    • Mooks

      MLB has had a deal with Stubhub where when someone sells you a ticket, their ticket barcode is automatically voided and they re-issue on to you. Essentially there is a very small chance of anything going wrong with your ticket because it is as if you bought it from the primary source in the first place.

      This is in contrast to most other non-MLB (though now the Yankees also) listings on Stubhub where if you select electronic shipment you will get a PDF file from the seller. Stubhub is still very safe in this manner but MLB tickets in the past have been unique on there.

      I would imagine you could still have electronic delivery but they would not be new tickets issued in your name. Small but still significant difference. The free market will be tough for even the Yankees to stop. There is a reason the price gets so low on Stubhub for a Tuesday night game in April against the Twins.

      • GoNavy-BeatArmy

        TicketMaster has the same process. When I transfer any of my tickets to friends currently through TicketMaster, it voids my paper ticket. Same process, just free to me as a ST holder.

  • Austin Aunelowitzky

    Screw the fans and Stub Hub, a free market enabler. This is all kinds of bad.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    I doubt this will impact us in any meaningful way. I don’t care.

  • Yankeefan

    this sucks i get all my yankee tickets on stubhub

    • Austin Aunelowitzky

      Me too.

  • JK

    The problem for the Yankees are the brokers driving down prices selling tickets they don’t own yet.

  • Henry Frisch

    Does it not simply mean that now scalpers can’t just automatically download all the “dogs” whie keeping the valuable games? So they will have to load the undesirable games manually onto Stubhub. The Yankees are not gaining anything. The games are still mainly overpriced. After many years I have no intention of takingva season plan. Many of my friends feel the same way. We will buy games on Stubhub.

  • Mark

    I’m a NY Rangers season ticket holder, and they have the same deal with Ticket Exchange, and I never use it. Still go with Stubhub because you can price the seats for whatever you want, and get your money relatively fast with Paypal.

    When you sell tickets on Exchange money stays in your account either for playoff tickets, or every thirty days you can request money in your account, but it comes the same way you paid for tickets. So if you charge your tickets you get a credit for the amount on your credit card statement, it’s awful.

  • MG

    I actually am probably in the minority but I think this is a good thing. I think that in the short term it will likely result in a lot of empty seats but I think in the long term it will cut down on the purchasing of tickets purely as an investment. The empty seats really in large part due to people purchasing tickets who have no intention of actually attending games. The deflated ticket prices probably would have the same long term effect but as someone who buys season tickets so I can go to games this actually strikes me as a positive. The stadium has changed an awful lot since StubHub became big. It’s not just the new building or the changes in face prices.

    • nolan

      Negative. This is not the way supply and demand works. If you set a price floor and raise prices on the secondary market you will decrease demand and reduce the number of fans that attend the game.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Maybe. I have no clue as to what this does for value. My initial thought was simply getting used to a new process is bad. Everything else is pure guesswork.

      I think maybe some sales issues as the kinks work themselves out and people learn the new order but, in the long term, if this is someone’s reason for not going to games anymore, they were looking for an excuse all along.

  • bobo

    The Jet ticketexchange allows Jet STH to sell their seats through ticketmaster at NO LESS than face value and charges only 10% to the seller. They then mark up the ticket price 25%. As long as you can sell tickets through stubhub below face value, ticketmaster will be dying along with Hal, Randy and the rest of those greedy bastards

  • JK

    The restrictions on stub hub going forward might be a price floor, no more electronic delivery & no more same day sales.

    • Henry Frisch

      That is only if Stubhub is so behind the 8 ball that they can’t keep functioning. I seriously doubt that is the case. This is just more stupidity by people who have no idea what their seats are really worth or what they need to do to appeal to Yankee fans. This is the fifth year of the new stadium. The bloom is off the rose. Unless the Yankees get some players they are headed back to 1991 levels of attendance.

    • LK

      Nothing more fan friendly than that.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      And that would suck. I’ve never bought same-day tickets, but I think the concept is awesome. I also like e-ticketing as a concept everywhere.

  • nolan

    INcredibly stupid. The yankees are setting a floor for ticket prices (face value of the ticket). Stub hub is a free market (fans can sell tickets for any price) and if you remove that and set a floor even less fans will attend because the price is too high. For Levine to say that the stadium was empty because of stub hub shows that Levine is either a liar or that he doesnt understand supply and demand (im guessing a little of both).

    If this is true the stadium will have even less fans next year per game.


    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      If this is true the stadium will have even less fans next year per game.

      That was likely even without this decision.

    • Havok9120

      Oh, so they’ll only have the 4th or 5th highest home attendance and maybe come in 2nd place overall rather than first. That’ll show ’em.

    • Massparking

      I dropped my partial-season plan a couple of years ago after they moved me so far from my location in the real Stadium that I think it was in a new zip code.
      I buy on ebay & stub hub and attend far fewer games, and now field calls from them each year trying to lure me back in.
      Funny how Levine was on Francesa saying their “worse mistake” in the fake Stadium was that people didn’t read the 56-page relocation plans and then were disappointed at their new locations. Closest I ever came to calling WFAN.
      Now they think they will thwart people like me from using stub hub and attending at prices with which I am comfortable? No, just as I dropped my season plan, I will now attend even less often.
      When they are disenfranchising people like me, and other die-hard fans posting here, well, they have a problem. And the way they are trying to “solve” it is backward.
      Once again, they are catering only to the high-end fan who can afford the season plan and now is unhappy his resale prices for games he is dumping aren’t high enough.

  • A.D.

    Can’t one individually sell any ticket via stub hub even if the direct interface for season ticket holders is removed?

    • Henry Frisch

      Sure. Unless the Yankees take back electronic transfer you will still be able to do business till two hours before game time. You just will have to load the tickets manually.

    • JK

      I believe so, They seem to want to eliminate the brokers selling tons of tickets below market value then delivering when they can buy it cheaper.

      • AR

        No way. I tried doing that. Doesn’t work. If anything this makes it EASIER to do that, since people aren’t filtering tickets for instant e-delivery.

  • Jackson

    The Yankees prices are too high. you gotta be a corporation stuffed with bucks to get a lot of seats there. Or a zillionaire. The pricing is a little too much for the “haves and have-nots”.

  • LarryM., Fl.

    If the trend continues and agents cannot sell their tickets then the agents will vacate the Yankee market.

    I travel to NY and pay the Piper. It’s a matter of fact. But buying tickets in Fla. is just fabulous. I get upper deck boxes behind home plate for $25.00 surcharges included. Any advantage the fan may have the baseball owners will close if the owner is not receiving full benefit. Its not about the fan’s pocketbook.

  • Buhner’s barber

    Doesn’t Ebay have a similiar service? If someone buys a ticket and wants to sell it at whatever price they choose, the yankees don’t really have any way to stop them at that point do they?

    • Havok9120

      No. But this isn’t targeting individuals who just want to manually resell a ticket. Its targeting the third-party services who buy up large blocks of seats for resale through a broker.

    • Lorenzo

      StubHub is owned by eBay.


    I’m pretty sure this doesn’t effect our ability to get tickets on StubHub going forward, because nothing in the agreement between the Yankees and Ticketmaster can legally prevent fans from putting their tickets on StubHub. All this means is that Ticketmaster is the “official” secondary market for Yankees tickets, and will probably have some tie-ins to the Yankees website, but nothing should realistically change as far as choices for the fans. It’ll just be like a few years ago where you’d have to get mailed the physical tickets instead.

    • MG

      From talking to my ticket rep this summer it basically means that you won’t get automatic e-tickets and there won’t be any Stubhub rep on site to deal with ticket issues. If you get sold a bad ticket on Stubhub it’ll be like if you bought a bad ticket from a scalper. Tough luck. If you buy on the official exchange you’ll have security in your purchase. The goal as my rep put it was to cut down on the people buying season tickets who didn’t want to go to games. It remains to be seen if this will work but I’m all for trying something to change that dynamic.

  • Jerry

    I live in NorthEast PA, 100 miles from the Bronx,300 from Toronto. It is cheaper for me to go to Toronto to see the Yankees than to go to the Bronx. That includes gas, meal and hotel. Last year, $75, 8th row behind the plate. Beat that Randy.

  • sabes

    “Less fees, more grammatical errors.”

  • ClayDavis

    To confirm. This means there will no longer be the instant print tickets option. And there may be a floor?

    • Henry Frisch

      I doubt that. Why would they go backwards and screw the ticket buyers even more? I am certain it jst means manual downloading to use Stubhub instead of the automatic option tat was in effect.

  • TinoBambino24

    Great. I guess I should get the lube ready whenever I need to buy tickets from TicketMaster, now.

    • ClayDavis

      But you will no longer be able to get tickets the day of and print them is what I’m reading here. Which sucks as that is basically how I always get tickets.

  • GoNavy-BeatArmy

    As a ST holder that unfortunately has to now sell most of his tickets (deployed and stationed 100’s of miles away), I am fully in favor of switching to TicketMaster being their preferred provider.

    First, this doesn’t mean I can’t use StubHub if I choose to. This is back to the pre-agreement time when I just had to manually enter the bar-code into StubHub to complete the sale. More of a pain in the ass for me, but still doable. I doubt I will considering just to make the face value back on bleacher seats I need to up the cost 15% to cover StubHub’s ridiculous fees. On top of that, they charge you the buy I believe 10% (might be off since I am never on the buying end). That’s quite excessive considering their role in the transaction.

    Second, TicketMaster TicketExchange works perfectly for fans already (i.e. NY Rangers tickets). The fees are much less so ST holder can list their tickets for less and still make their desired money back. Additionally, fees for buyers are less to you the buyer gets the tickets cheaper.

    While the Yankees are certainly doing this as a business decision, the ST holders were specifically asked our opinion on StubHub and I believe the decision was partly based off of our responses. I am confident it was unanimously in favor of canning StubHub. However, this helps the Yanks too. ST holder who rely on selling some of their tickets are not going to keep their ST packages if they can’t do so easily. The Yanks need ST holders. Second, the Yanks want to see these tickets resold to fill the stadium. While they don’t care about the ticket price (since they have already been paid for that ticket), they want people there to make more money off them via vendors, merchandise, etc. Lastly, this helps the Yanks sell their remaining tickets to the game at face value. StubHub made it very difficult to resell the tickets timely due to the price sellers had to recoup given their fees. Therefore, tickets stayed on the market longer and drove the prices down to “just sell it for something”. This made it impossible for the Yanks Ticket Office to compete. If ST holder can sell their tickets faster, the market will sustain face value prices longer. Simple economics.

    Just the measly opinion and analysis from a ST holder.

    • AR

      That’s just SO wrong. I’ve been an ST holder for the Yanks and for the Jets. I did WAY worse when the Jets restricted resale prices to face (or near face). Basically, if there is a price floor, and people don’t value the tickets enough to buy them at face, they just WON’T SELL. The Yankees allowing them to float enabled me to sell them (as you said, at least for something) and that puts butts in seats and generates concession revenue. Now there are just going to be MASSIVE chunks of tickets that go unsold because of the price floor. There’s a reason the Tuesday night games in April sell for $2 a ticket, and it’s not because of people “recouping fees.” It’s because people dont’ want to go to those games that badly. I know that because I’ve been there myself. There have been 10-20 games that I’ve gone to ONLY because the ticket price was less than $3. What you’re going to see this year is a whole bunch of season ticket holders not able to sell seats at all, diminished actual attendance, and diminished interest in Yankees tickets going forward. I’m most likely going to cancel my seasons as a result of this.

      • AR

        Also, if true that you’ll still be able to enter bar codes, then I don’t think a single ticket will be sold on ticket exchange. If not, see above.

        Also, I just don’t understand how people call stubhub’s fees “excessive.” If they were “excessive,” don’t you think people would have stopped using Stubhub? I mean think of what you’re paying. For 25% of the ticket price you get (a) guaranteed real tickets, (b) in the exact seats they promised you, (c) instant online delivery and free printing, (d) an incredibly user-friendly interface that lets you map out the stadium and filter your ticket options by location, price, row, and even a bunch of whacky things that you can’t get on the primary market (e) Hello- a !@#$ing EFFICIENT MARKET for tickets! You actually have, instead of people just sitting there not selling your tickets day-of, the ability to unload them on the cheap and get something, or, in the alternative (as a buyer) the ability to time your purchase and attend a game you otherwise would not have attended.

        I remember trying to buy tickets to the 1998 world series. I spent hours on my landline on hold with ticketmaster to get absolutely nothing, and then spent weeks scouring eBay looking for a listing with a typo in it that might sell for less than market. I would GLADLY have paid 25% premium to use stubhub then. And the best part of it is, if I’m not happy with stubhub, all of that pre-stubhub infrastructure is still there: I can still go to craigslist or ebay or call an old-fashioned broker and get tickets.

        So I don’t really get how anybody could say stubhub’s fees are excessive.

  • dan gen

    lets make it easy for all… the tickets prices are too f…high and the protect took a hit…189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,189,


    People will still sell on stubhub unless the Yankees start taking tickets away and suspending accounts like they did in 2006. The floor will not work , cause people will still dump those Tuesday games in April on Stubhub, provided they dont punish the season ticket holder for reselling tickets other then ticketmaster site. We will see.

  • AR

    This is not how it works. It’s basic supply and demand. Taking the tickets off of stubhub (and thus establishing a price floor on the secondary market) will not increase attendance. If anything it will DECREASE attendance as the lowest marginal buyers exit the market. There’s no straightforward way this benefits the Yankees. There MUST be some ulterior motive here. My bet is on revenue-sharing dispute between Yankees and Stubhub

  • Usty

    I dropped my partial plan after 5 years for this year because last year we picked up 3rd row terrace OF seats at 42 a game for 15 games. We didn’t buy them as an investment but knew we’d miss a couple games for whatever reason throughout the summer.

    But if my friend or I couldn’t go, no one, and I mean NO ONE would buy them from us, and these were mostly weekend games. We’d regularly eat 25-30 bucks a ticket just to sell them to anyone. (20 bucks for the pair became our hope)

    And forget selling the screwjob weekday tickets (that replaced Opening Day and Old Timers day) that are part of those plans, most of which are $5 upper deck games.

    $40 field OF seats on Stubhub were the only reason I kept going. If they’re going to artificially set a price floor on TicketExchange, well see ya later Yankee Stadium. Maybe I’ll catch 2-3 games next year instead of the 7-10 I usually go to.

  • didacts_and_narpets2112

    I have Net and Giant season tickets in addition to my Yanks tickets. Giants and Nets have Ticket Exchange but I still use Stub Hub as they are more known and bigger audience to sell too as well as easier transaction. As many said you just have to print out the PDF and load it that way. Me personally when my bleacher seats are listed for $3 for a Wed night Royals game I don’t even bother posting them. It is not about making a profit but as it is impossible to go to 81 games a year you would like to at least recoup face value for the games you can’t attend if you are making a full season commitment. One thing the Yanks don’t do that that the Nets do is give season ticket holders a discount on their tickets. If maybe they did that (which there is No Chance in Hell..thanks Vinnie Mac) then you could sell for a few bucks less and still break even or come close to it…

  • didacts_and_narpets2112

    Also not to mention that the Yanks still charge season ticket holder full price for bleachers even on $5 nights..Way to reward the loyal fans who pony up!!!