StubHub starts selling primary tickets; teams with the 76ers

Steven Loeb · February 8, 2016 · Short URL:

StubHub will compete with Ticketmaster, a company it sued for being anti-competitive last year

With all of the ridiculous upcharges that come with each purchase, along with the turning of a blind eye to rampant ticket scalping, I really don't like Ticketmaster. That's not a controversial option, I know. The company has become the scorn, and perhaps the scapegoat, for a ticketing industry that has become, in the words of New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman, "fixed." 

Maybe we won't have to put up with Ticketmaster much longer, though, now that there's a new player in town. One that maybe, hopefully, will do away with some of the things that have made ticket buying such a miserable experience for so long.

On Monday, StubHub, which has become the dominant force in the online ticket reseller space, announced that it's going for the other part of the ticket marketplace, by selling tickets directly from venues on its platform.

It even has its first partner, the Philadelphia 76ers, meaning that people who want to buy tickets to home games for the 2016-2017 season will have to go to StubHub to get them.

The platform will include features such as white-labeling for primary tickets; real-time market data, so that box offices can maximize pricing, while owning and controlling all buyer data; as well as the the ability for customers to purchase tickets from multiple sellers in one transaction, and for partners to bundle other goods, such as parking, with a ticket sale.

The company is integrating with Spectra Ticketing and Fan Engagement in order to provide the 76ers with box office tools, season ticket holder sales, account management and access control.

For over 15 years, StubHub has been a marketplace that connected buyers and sellers of tickets to live events on the secondary market, but now we are in a position to provide the industry a true end-to-end ticketing solution that combines our experience in e-commerce and secondary ticketing with a set of features that will help our partners sell more tickets,” Scott Cutler, president of StubHub, said in a statement.

There's a few interesting things about this move by StubHub. First, the company is putting all tickets, including those sold directly by the venue, and those being resold on the secondary market, onto the same platform. And it isn't even going to tell fans who they are buying the tickets from.

Doing so will no doubt ensure that the venues will not have any advantages over resellers. I know that, as a customer, I'd be more willing to buy a ticket from a venue, which certainly seems more secure than buying it from a person I've never met. By mixing the two together, it doesn't put the secondary sellers at a disadvantage. 

The other very interesting part of all of this is how closely StubHub now resembles Ticketmaster, a company that it does not get along with. Ticketmaster has been the official marketplace for both direct, and resold, NBA tickets for years. Now StubHub is cutting into that label, and it would seem that it's a purposeful move on its part.

Last year StubHub sued Ticketmaster, alleging that the company forced some of its ticketholders, specifically those with tickets to see the Golden State Warriors, to only resell their unwanted tickets through the Ticketmaster website.

StubHub said that behavior was anti-competitive, helping Ticketmaster's reseller business at the expensive of others in the space. Ticketmaster, of course, denied that it had done this. 

As they say, don't get mad, get even. And that's exactly what StubHub has done. By providing tickets both directly from venues, and from secondary sellers, StubHub has, essentially, copied Ticketmaster's business model. There is one clear difference though: since Ticketmaster did not start out as a secondary market it has no reason not to differentiate between the two types of tickets. The company can clearly delineate who is selling you your tickets.

For StubHub, this is a first step into a much larger world, one where, maybe, they can sign on a team that isn't, at a current record of 8 and 43, the worst team in the entire NBA. 

Founded in 2000, StubHub was bought by eBay for $310 million back in 2007.

VatorNews reached out to StubHub for more information, and to Ticketmaster for comment on this news. We will update this story if we learn more. 

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