Monday, October 15, 2007

Legitimizing Legit Ticket Resale Market

Legitimizing Legit Ticket Resale Market

The resale market has officially landed a retail location close to Broadway, as Campbell Robertson reports in this morning's The New York Times.

Used to be that secondary ticket sales were strictly verboten, and helped precipitate the now lucrative "premium ticket" that's extensively used across the Great White Way. The thinking was that those directly involved with the show should be the ones to reap the rewards.

But because of a bill passed earlier this year by the New York State Legislature (and covered well by The Playgoer), scalping in the Big Apple has officially gone mainstream. And StubHub -- self-described as "the fan's ticket marketplace" and "the largest ticket marketplace in the world, based on sales" -- opened a store last Friday within spitting distance of Broadway. Owned by eBay Inc., StubHub "provides all fans the choice to buy or sell their tickets in a safe, convenient, and highly reliable environment."

While the well-founded fear is that the StubHubs of the world may help further escalate the price of event tickets, it could potentially work the other way, too. Michael Riedel points out in his latest column that brokers speculating on Young Frankenstein seats may get burned due to less-than-anticipated demand where seats originally selling for over $120 are now as low as $79. Indeed, Robertson points to an eBay spokesperson who "said that 40 percent of tickets on eBay are sold at or below face value."

Time will tell whether the StubHubs of the world will have much of an impact, but I can definitely see the day where ticket brokers are as ubiquitous around Broadway as they are in London's West End.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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