The NHL Looks to Double Dip on Ticket Sales
The NHL is always looking for more ways to squeeze money out of its fan base, so the fact that the NHL wants tighter control over ticket resales is not surprising. Why just sell the ticket once when you can sell it again and make even more profit? That's the thinking behind the NHL's new partnership with the monopolistic Ticketmaster (who already control sales for 26 of 30 NHL clubs).
The National Hockey League (NHL) and Ticketmaster today announced they have entered into an exclusive multi-year agreement to create an NHL resale ticketing service to be powered by Ticketmaster. As part of the agreement, Ticketmaster has been named the "Official Resale Ticket Provider of the NHL."
"We could not be happier that the NHL has selected Ticketmaster to provide to fans the best possible resale experience," said Eric Korman, Ticketmaster Executive Vice President. "Hockey fans will benefit from greater protection, flexibility and the unparalleled efficiency of our technology. The NHL wins by providing to fans the ability to resell tickets in a safe and secure environment. Our partnership will also make it easier for the League and its teams to connect with its millions of fans directly."
Protection. Yes, let's bring out the scare tactics, shall we? How could fans possibly feel safe purchasing tickets from somebody on eBay or Craigslist? *Gasp* While buying tickets from a scalper or somebody else you have never met has always had an element of risk, it's not as if there is widespread fraud among existing ticket agencies and the average fans who just want to unload their ducats.
Let's face it, Ticketmaster is king of the service charge. By being able to resell the tickets, Ticketmaster will be getting at LEAST twice the amount of fees on a single ticket. The NHL clubs? They can buy back their tickets at a lower rate, and then sell the ticket for a nice markup. Why let the scalper get the profit when the team can do that itself?
I believe the NHL has every right to want to control the usage and sale of its product (my hometown Canucks already do this), but this whole exercise of double dipping, especially with Ticketmaster involved, just makes me queasy. Instead of providing a forum for the fans to sell/exchange their tickets with each other, the teams simply pull out the cash grab and shamelessly scalp their own product.