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Face value for tickets to see the Green Bay Packers are underpriced, which perpetually leads to robust secondary market sales, according to Arizona State University professor Dr. Stephen Happel, one of the nation's foremost authorities on the event ticketing industry. The Appleton Post-Crescent reported this week that Happel made the remarks during a recent speech he gave at the Sport & Society in America conference in Wisconsin, and he added that team owners often underprice tickets to create demand. Face value for Packers tickets range in price from $30 to $143, according to Ticketmaster. Also contributing to the issue is the fact that the Packers have more than 80,000 names on the waiting list for season tickets. But, he believes that ticket brokers also contribute to the situation. "You cannot find more repeated stupid economics than occurs in secondary ticket markets. Inevitably, politicians will regulate. Price controls always, always, always hurt consumers," Happel said.
The Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins are the two likely teams to play in the NHL's Winter Classic on January 1, according to the New York Times. The game will be played in Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, instead of in a baseball stadium like the last two Winter Classics. The Penguins played in the game on January 1, 2008, against the Buffalo Sabres. More than a dozen teams reportedly bid to host the game next year, according to the Times, and a second outdoor game is slated to be hosted in Calgary on February 20 between the Flames and the Montreal Canadiens.
British singer-songwriter Imogen Heap is finding it increasingly difficult to tour due to the cost, and lagging album and ticket sales, according to the Guardian. The artist, perhaps best known for the hit "Hide and Seek," recently lamented on her Twitter page that due to a "monopoloy" in the U.S. market for concert venues, fans are forced to pay a "huge mark up" on the price of tickets. Heap's album sales also help pay for her tours, and vice-versa, according to the Guardian, and those have been slow. "With few album sales there's little to pay for the tour. I can't sustain it. Time to rethink!" she wrote.
Three Latvian men were arrested in late February for allegedly scamming the Vancouver Winter Olympics out of $2 million worth of tickets, organizers disclosed this week. According to the Globe and Mail newspaper, the trio used stolen credit card information to obtain the tickets, and they may have been part of a group of up to 30 Latvians who were also involved. The three were given probation and deported back to Latvia, and the organizers are working with VISA Inc. and insurance companies on reimbursement. “There’s nothing that would indicate they were part of an organized crime group; however, our financial investigators believe they were part of a larger group of Latvians who were here, possibly up to 30. We’ve never identified and don’t know the identities of the other 20-plus,” said Vancouver Police Constable Lindsay Houghton.
The National Hockey League, which bought the Phoenix Coyotes out of bankruptcy last year, is hoping to complete a sale of the team to a new owner by the end of June. According to ESPN, the league has two main suitors for the team, Ice Edge Holdings, which is a group of U.S. and Canadian investors, and another group led by Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. The Glendale, AZ City Council recently voted to guarantee $25 million to help keep the team in the Jobing.com Arena, which the city built specifically for the team. There have been reports that the team, which was formerly known as the Winnipeg Jets, might move back to Canada under new ownership; both Ice Edge and Reinsdorf have pledged to keep the team in Arizona.
Ticket broker Scott Davis, owner of DerbyDeals.com, is suing University of Louisville assistant basketball coach Steve Masiello, who allegedly kept $50,000 Davis paid him for Kentucky Derby tickets this year that he never delivered. According to the Courier-Journal newspaper, Davis' lawsuit states that he allegedly paid Masiello a total of $70,000, and that Masiello obtained $10,000 worth of tickets for Davis, returned $10,000 and then kept $50,000. Masiello claims Davis is making up the whole thing, and he denies taking any money to obtain tickets.
Jeffersonville, IN, which is located in the southeastern corner of the state near Louisville, KY, is considering a new law that would require ticket resellers, particularly street scalpers, to obtain a license. According to WHAS-TV, city officials are looking at requiring resellers to pay $2,500 for a license and submit to background checks. The issue arose following complaints that fans of the Kentucky Derby, which is held at nearby Churchill Downs each year, were being scammed. Ticket resale is legal in Indiana but prohibited in Kentucky.
Each year, elementary school students in Austin, MN attend a Minnesota Twins baseball game, but this season because the team has moved into the new Target Field, ticket prices have skyrocketed. According to the Austin Daily Herald, the families of the students are being asked to pay $22 for a ticket, compared to $5 in 2009, the team's last season in the Metrodome. Parents and school officials had been told by team representatives that the ticket price would be closer to $10 or $14, which the team attributed to miscommunication between the two parties. Those less expensive tickets were no longer available when the school put in the order. “Our inventory is just squeezed... And that’s the overriding issue,” Kevin Smith, the team's executive director of public affairs, told the Austin Daily Herald. “We don’t ever want to turn away kids, especially school kids. This was all we could do.”
After flirting with the idea of expanding the field to as many as 96 teams, the NCAA this week officially approved a 68-team men's college basketball tournament, beginning in 2011. The tournament had been 65 teams, but now it will add three more games, according to ESPN. Earlier in the month, CBS and Turner Broadcasting agreed to pay the NCAA $10.8 billion over 14 years for the television rights to the tournament, which is one of the more popular overall sporting events in the nation each year. In 2001, the field went from 64 to 65 teams, the first change in almost two decades.
The Prudential Center, where the New Jersey Devils have played since 2007, is beginning to pay dividends to the City of Newark. According to the New York Times, despite the hockey team being ousted in the first round of the NHL playoffs, ticket sales have been solid, and the Devils nearly doubled the number of regular season sellouts compared to the previous year. In addition, the arena has spurred $15 million in economic activity at area restaurants, bars and shops.