If the NBA teaming with ticketing behemoth Ticketmaster — the company that charges you a fee to print your ticket out yourself at home — makes you a little uncomfortable, well, it probably should.
But this isn’t about you — unless you’re a team season ticket holder who sells off some of your tickets every year on StubHub. Or you like to go to a couple NBA games a year and buy tickets. Then this is totally about you.
The NBA announced Monday it has teamed with Ticketmaster to create “a comprehensive online ticketing destination for NBA fans.” That site will be up and running before the season starts.
Here is what is happening — if you want to go to a single game the majority of fans start online at the team’s Web site (70 percent, according to a study pointed to by Darren Rovell of ESPN). But after you see what the team is selling a lot of fans head over to StubHub to see what season ticket holders who cannot make that game want for those seats on the eBay-like site. (Yes, some of those season ticket holders are ticket brokers.)
The NBA (and its owners) want to control that secondary resale market, which is growing fast.
“The NBA is determined to provide their fans a safe, convenient place to buy and sell game tickets, and we are delighted to be delivering this revolutionary solution,” Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard said in a released statement.
What this really means is StubHub was making money off season ticket holders re-selling tickets and the NBA wanted a cut of that money. It is always about the money.
What we don’t know yet is the fees that will be charged to fans through the new TicketMaster site, but you can bet they will be comparable or likely lower than StubHub. At least for some games. A number of teams are going with sliding ticket prices — you pay more per ticket when the Lakers or Heat come to town than the Bucks. That could apply here in a number of ways (although that will be set by the team, not Ticketmaster). Teams will have a lot of control over this.
But we’ll have to see what the new site looks like and how it responds. That said, it’s about providing convenience — one-stop shopping — and hoping fans are good with the fees to have that convenience. Including the convenience of printing the ticket you just paid for out at home.