Hubbard: Ticketmaster Will Make Money on Yankees

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(from Sports Business Journal, February 18-24)  Last week, the New York Yankees announced its own formal manifestation by partnering with Ticketmaster to create a new secondary ticketing partnership. Previously, MLB Advanced Media and StubHub acted as the secondary market to the New York franchise. Ticketmaster Chief Executive, Nathan Hubbard, stated “as a stand-alone entity, this will be profitable. The margins of the secondary business at traditional levels have been very healthy at scale, and we expect success here too.” In recent past the seller commissions were typically at 15%, but with this new deal, seller commissions will drop to 5%. Along with the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will also opt of the league wide deal with MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) and StubHub in the near future.

As part of the new deal, ticket buyers will pay a 10% commission on Yankees Ticket Exchange purchases, similar to Ticketmaster’s competitor, StubHub. An electronic integration powered by Ticketmaster will be the Yankees platform in the electronic ticket selling process. For a decade Ticketmaster and StubHub have been fierce rivals; however, this new deal introduces a new price battle between the two in the New York market and with a well-known Yankees brand.

The New York Yankees are using this deal to lessen the impact of ticket brokers not yet owning Yankees tickets and using pricing manipulation in the resale market. Yankees Ticket Exchange will require sellers to have verified tickets in their possession, in hopes to eliminate any speculative listings. When asked about stopping brokers artificial manipulation, Hubbard stated, “I don’t know if it is stoppable. But what we do know is that we can provide a better experience for buyers and sellers, and absolutely know teams have to be an active part of the solution.” Along with the new deal between the Yankees and Angels, Ticketmaster will have full entry into the baseball secondary ticketing; something Ticketmaster has not been able to do since the first deal between MLBAM and StubHub in 2007.