HardballTalk

The Yankees escalate their war on Stubhub

The Yankees run their own secondary market ticket business called Yankees Ticket Exchange. For a couple of years now they’ve been at war with Stubhub, trying to crowd out the secondary market competitor. The other day they escalated matters.

They did it by instituting a new policy which prohibits you from printing tickets at home, as most who purchase from Stubhub do. Rather, to get into Yankee Stadium starting this year you need to have either traditional cardstock-style tickets like you’d purchase at the ticket window or else you need Yankees-generated electronic tickets with a mobile bar code you flash on your phone. Stubhub PDFs will not do.

The Yankees claim that the move is being made to “further combat fraud and counterfeiting of tickets,” but that’s fairly laughable. The move is being made to try to get Stubhub out of the Yankees secondary market in favor of its own service. You can still buy on Stubhub, of course, but you’re going to have to have the seller ship you their actual tickets, effectively eliminating that 2pm “hey, we should go to a game tonight, let’s get some off of Stubhub” market.

UPDATE: I was a bit wrong about that. You can still purchase tickets off of Stubhub up until the start of Yankees games. You just have to go to Stubhub’s Last Minute Service office outside of Yankee Stadium and pick up tickets there before the game (and they have to be tickets that sellers have sent to that office ahead of time, which many do). It adds a step to the process and is not as easy as simply printing a PDF, but you can still do it.

I get why the Yankees want to do this financially. But between this and their slow as molasses metal detector lines getting into Yankee Stadium to see a ballgame is becoming an increasingly difficult experience.