High profile-sports teams have undue political influence, allowing them to push through laws that severely restrict the ticket marketplace to the detriment of fans.
Why should it be any more illegal to resell a ticket – at any price – than to resell a shirt? Many who claim to believe in a free market – looking at you, professional sports owners – don’t extend that belief to the ticket marketplace.
This has led to all kinds of complications and hypocrisies.
Now, StubHub is challenging the limits the Warriors have imposed on their season-ticket holders.
The ticket broker StubHub filed a lawsuit against the Warriors and Ticketmaster in the northern district of California, accusing them of a conspiracy that would result in an illegal resale market.
The lawsuit alleges that the Warriors and Ticketmaster have informed season-ticket holders that any after-market resells of Warriors tickets must be completed only through their joint platform. StubHub asserts listings of Warriors tickets are down 80 percent over the past year.
The suit claims the Warriors threatened to revoke the privileges of those who do not abide be their request.
This included not being allowed to purchase playoff tickets for seasons in which the consumer already had purchased regular-season tickets.
It will be interesting to hear StubHub explain how it’s OK when it’s the exclusive legal ticket reseller for other teams, but not OK when Ticketmaster is. In other markets, StubHub holds the exact role Ticketmaster does with the Warriors.
Hopefully, this is a step toward removing some of these special-interest laws that protect teams at expense of the public.
More likely, it will just shake up which protected special interests conspire with which other protected special interests.