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Resale Report: Why even buy from a scalper outside a venue in the StubHub era?

Resale Report, a column focused on the secondary ticket market, runs every Wednesday here on Check out the first Resale Report from last week if you missed it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2012 Resale Report

Leonsis on ticket scalping at Verizon Center – “Selling tickets and sadly, buying tickets outside of Verizon Center is illegal. Scalping has become a major concern for many of our fans and they communicate these issues to us directly,” wrote Ted Leonsis, owner of the venue and three DC sports teams that play there.

In the age of online resellers such as StubHub and Ticket Exchange, it’s hard to believe that any buyers would make scalpers near a venue their source for tickets. Fraud protection and, in most cases, better prices are available through online outlets, which also don’t come with the risk of being stopped by the police or having to haggle with a scalper.

The chances of getting five people into Verizon Center for the price of one face-value ticket is a transaction that would be highly unlikely to ever occur outside the arena. But there are bargains to be had like that to games around the country on a regular basis when you use the more high-tech and legal ticket solutions. Unless you’ve waited until less than two hours before game time to purchase a ticket, when resellers have cut off resales, there’s hardly ever a reason to take your business to a scalper outside the venue. Even a tweet or a Facebook post in those last two hours before an event starts might yield tickets at a better price than purchasing them on the street.

So much for a victory tour? – The reigning Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings visited Detroit on Sunday afternoon for a nationally televised NHL on NBC game. On Friday, tickets for that Kings visit to the Wings were available starting at $15 on StubHub. On Monday, when L.A. played at St. Louis, tickets for that Blues home game were available for $7.95 on StubHub late that afternoon. The Kings at least appear to be a hot ticket back home in L.A. On Friday, they play the first of three home games in four days, as they face the Bluejackets, Avs and Ducks. Nothing is currently available on StubHub under $30 for any of those three games.

Yankees add new ticket resale option – The New York Yankees this week announced an agreement with Ticketmaster to create Yankees Ticket Exchange, providing fans with another option for buying and selling their game tickets. As reported by the New York Times Ken Belson, the team will provide fans with an incentive to use the new service over the popular StubHub: “Ticket holders will be charged only a 5 percent fee to sell their tickets, compared with 15 percent on StubHub. Buyers will be charged 10 percent of the resale value, the same as on StubHub.” Consumers (and brokers) can still unload or acquire Yankees tickets through StubHub and, with buyers being charged the same percentage on either service, it’s likely they’ll buy from the one that offers them the best ticket options or prices.

Cheap Valentine’s Day option in South Florida – The Florida Panthers have some of the lowest StubHub prices in hockey, with very few games starting at over $10. Valentine’s Day is no exception, as the Montreal Canadiens visit Sunrise. The lowest price ticket on StubHub for that game is currently listed for $8.00 and there are over 1,000 available. $35 will get you into the lower bowl presently. If last night’s sparse crowd in South Florida, when the Panthers hosted the Washington Capitals, is any indication, you and your date will have a pretty good chance at getting on the big screen. Own the Kiss Cam…or an entire section. On Saturday, it will be a much different resale story on Montreal, when the Canadiens return home to face Philadelphia. Seats on StubHub for the Flyers visit to Bell Centre currently start at $101 on StubHub.

Bargain alert for Caps fans – On Tuesday, February 26, the Carolina Hurricanes visit Verizon Center to face the Caps. As of this posting, there are 2,259 tickets available on StubHub, with the cheapest going for $24.99. On Ticket Exchange there are another 1,788 available and those currently start at $21. There are already below-face-value options available, but those prices could drop even further as the game date gets closer, especially if the inventory remains plentiful. The key to getting a great deal for a game like this is often to wait. The buyer risks the chance that prices could go up or never drop any further if the tickets start to move. But with patience from enough buyers and the right conditions, there could be some dirt cheap seats for this one come the afternoon of February 26. Here a few suggestions on how to score cheap seats like this via the resale market.

Use the #ResaleReport hashtag – Send me a screen shot of best deals you find on hockey tickets or other events. You can do that on Twitter at @mikeholden or through email at brookslaichyear AT gmail DOT com. You can also tag them on Twitter as #ResaleReport.

Is that a Flyers jersey on the dugout?

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a Hockey Day promotion taking place at the Frederick Keys game. It was to feature Washington Capitals legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Rod Langway, the Caps’ cheerleaders the Red Rockers and the team mascot Slapshot, who mentioned the event on Twitter. The Keys were also promoting that you could “Stick around after the game to watch the conclusion of the Caps season finale on the videoboard!”

I go to a few Keys games a year with the family (I’m a big minor league baseball fan and highly recommend it) and we headed up there this past Saturday for Hockey Day. It’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but we (and some other fans) were a little surprised to see the guy pictured below atop the dugout throughout the game, MCing the event in a Flyers jersey, after all the Caps related promo for the event.

I spotted a few other Keys employees wearing jerseys of other teams: one in a Penguins jersey, a second in a Flyers jersey and one in a Tampa Bay Lightning shirt. There was even one employee in an Erie Otters jersey. I guess the Keys’ concept for Hockey Day was different than what the promotional information communicated with all the Caps tie-ins. The guy pictured above in the Flyers jersey, Keys Promotions Manager Brandon Apter, sent @brookslaichyear a response on Twitter, saying: “Hey man, I have to represent the team I love on Hockey Day! I did get pied in the face, wasn’t that pleasing enough?”

The pie was a nice touch (as was Apter taking time to respond on Twitter), except I’m not sure he still had his Flyers jersey on at the time of the pieing—a pie right to the logo would have been fantastic!  

Like I said above, it’s not a big deal overall, but if someone’s going to promote an event with a Caps player, the Caps mascot and the Caps cheerleaders, while also showing the Caps game on the big screen (and never saying anything about other hockey teams in the information promoting the event), then it’s probably best not to have the host in the jersey of a team that Caps fans detest. Maybe go neutral with the host’s jersey or promote the event differently so it doesn’t come across as so Caps-themed. Something tells me that if I showed up at a minor league baseball game in the Philadelphia area in a Caps jersey for an event involving the Flyers, I’d be hit with something worse than a pie.

Hockey Day with the Frederick Keys and former Washington Capital Rod Langway

English: Four banners for the the Washington C...

Image via Wikipedia

From the Frederick Keys’ blog:

Hockey Day – On April 7th at 2pm, the Keys will drop the puck with Hockey Day. This special day will include an appearance by former Capital and NHL Hall-of-Famer, Rod Langway. Also, we will be giving out Keys 2012-13 Calendars (HN Funkhouser) and Magnet Schedules. Stick around after the game to watch the conclusion of the Caps season finale on the videoboard!


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