This is a day old but we were a bit busy with the McCoy thing yesterday.
Sixers local TV ratings are up this year (about 45% more, for the league’s third-biggest audience gain). They are averaging about 1,000 more fans per game. I would bet a good chunk of those sales go through StubHub, which is great, because next year, it may be the only option.
Starting next season, StubHub will be the exclusive ticket marketplace for the Sixers. Jonathan Tannenwald with Philly.com explains it:
The 76ers announced Monday that they’ve struck a deal with StubHub to give the company control of the team’s entire ticket sales operation. It is the first time ever that StubHub will operate the “primary” ticket sales market for a team.
When the deal begins for the 2016-17 season, you’ll see tickets on sale straight from the team and tickets up for resale by fans all in the same place.
It’s not a totally new concept – TicketMaster does it for teams whose secondary ticket exchanges it runs. But StubHub’s presentation will look very different, because there won’t be any designation of whether a ticket is a primary or secondary sale. You’ll see the entire available inventory at once, no matter the price to fans.
That data will then be fed back to the team in real time. The team’s press release on the StubHub deal said the system “will allow box offices to maximize pricing, while owning and controlling all buyer data.”
Ah. Yes. There’s the rub. Because there won’t be any designation of whether a ticket is a primary or secondary sale and will allow box offices to maximize pricing. That raises a question: How will you know primary sale tickets haven’t had their prices jacked up? This sounds like it allows the Sixers to adjust ticket prices based off of demand for individual games. I’m guessing there’s some sort of canned response about controls being in place to prevent gouging, but a partnership like this feels like it will leave a lot of room for dark-matter, back-channel price
fixing – ah, adjustment – that the public will never see. This happens to a degree already – teams make tickets available for secondary sellers and liquidations channels (helllllo, Score Big!) – but the blending of secondary market and team tickets raises some eyebrows.
We’ve reached out to the team for comment and clarification, and we’ll update if and when we hear back.