David M. Carter, executive director of the Sports Business Institute at the University of Southern California, doesn’t think StubHub is creating upward pressure on the price of Sox tickets. “I think they’re providing a mechanism to buy and sell tickets,” he says, “and the market is determining the price.”
Similarly, StubHub’s Pate calls the belief that StubHub is inflating the value of Sox tickets “a common misperception. What StubHub offers is actually just the opposite,” he says, since it helps make available hundreds, if not thousands, of tickets for every game.
Perhaps. Sure, you can find plenty of deals within throwing distance of reason on StubHub, but the better the seats at Fenway, the more outlandish the price. Obviously, if you’re loaded, it’s less of an issue.
Yet even with the growing difficulty of obtaining Sox tickets at face value, it can be done — if you’re obsessive enough to enter the drawings, to endure the waits in the Virtual Waiting Room, to watch the team’s Web site for periodic unannounced ticket drops, or to line-up hours in advance for the chance to buy a limited number of day-of-the-game tickets.
It’s understandable that some fans focus their wrath on StubHub.
But trying to impeach the business sense of capitalizing on intensely popular events — whether Red Sox games or Hannah Montana concerts — isn’t going to alter the fundamental equation.
And it tells us a lot about this current moment that both admirers and critics of StubHub perceive it as a harbinger of a day when everyone, as with the airline and hotel industries, might pay a different price for the same time-worn seat at Fenway Park.
On the Web
Ian Donnis's Not for Nothing: http://www.thephoenix.com/notfornothing
Mike Miliard's Sox Blog: http://www.thephoenix.com/soxblog