Hot! When The Secondary Market Becomes The Primary Market

The landscape of the “ticket word” has changed. Promoters, entertainment acts, and sports teams have decided that they need to make even more money, thus they have instilled a dynamic ticket pricing system. This allows them to fluctuate the face value of tickets based on the demand/potential demand. While one may argue they have every right to do so, I’m going to tell you why this is detrimental to the fans and it has to stop.

In order to fully understand what is going on, let’s make up a hypothetical: In 1994, the face value for a regular season NY Rangers game in section 103 was $75.00. As was and is always the case, the later the round (in the playoffs), the higher the face value of the ticket was/is. Let’s just say that this $75.00 ticket became: $85.00 in Round 1, $105.00 in Round 2, $175.00 in Round 3, and $225.00 in the Finals. Despite this being the face value, the secondary market value (think value on StubHub, Ebay, etc.) or as I like to say, it’s true value, was $80.00 for a regular season game, $150.00 for Round 1, $250.00 for Round 2, $500.00 for Round 3, and $1,000 for the Finals. If an individual was to sell his or her tickets, they (in some cases) would be making more money than the performing act!! Is this unfair? No, it isn’t…it’s capitalism at its finest.

As a fan of the Rangers and Knicks, I recently noticed the insane price hike for playoff tickets when purchased on Ticketmaster – this exponential increase doesn’t apply to season ticket holder prices. At first glance you may think that this is fair and as a business they are fiscally obligated to do this, but you’re wrong. Let’s see the trickle down effects….


1) The Middle Man. Agree or disagree with the concept of ticket scalping, it is a LEGAL business – a multi-billion dollar business. If we lose “The Middle Man”, this multi-billion dollar industry is hurt or destroyed. That’s going to come back and hurt you, I promise…But just in case you’re not fiscally hurt by this in any way, let’s look at that concert you want to go to…

2) That’s Gaga, Lady. Lady Gaga tickets have a face value of $250.00 for reserved seats that are somewhat close to the stage. You can be in a crowded mosh pit for $95.00 a ticket, but that sounds terrible. So now I want to go to this concert with my family because we’re hip and do cool things like see Lady Gaga – I need to buy 4 tickets. I don’t get tickets on Ticketmaster so I must look at the secondary market. Since the face value of the four tickets is $1,000 total, “The Middle Man” still needs to feed his family so now he marks it up. Do the math, you’re paying an arm and leg to see Lady Gaga.

3) The Home Field Disadvantage. We all know what happens when that rich douche bag is sitting front row at that playoff game – you hope he chokes on his lobster roll and let’s be honest, none of these guys make any noise: Stadiums are getting less and less intimidating for the opposing players because of this. Look at visiting teams records in all sports over the past few years vs. 10+ years ago, it’s stunning.


I know it’s a businesses obligation to make the proper decisions in order to make money, but there needs to be some consideration for your biggest customer, the fans. There has to be a breaking point when you see money thrown around in ways that aren’t fiscally responsible…sound familiar?  Many, including myself, are against the Occupy Wall Streeters, but when you start seeing the effects of corporate greed first hand, you think for a second…maybe they are kinda right.


Corey Brill

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