Looking for a hot investment? The Street claims that one of the hottest is Boston Red Sox season tickets. Annual return on an investment...

Looking for a hot investment? The Street claims that one of the hottest is Boston Red Sox season tickets.

Annual return on an investment in season tickets is about 240%.

Something to think about as the playoffs loom. If you’re wondering why you are finding it harder and harder to get tickets for a baseball game anywhere in America, it’s because eBay (EBAY) has transformed the economics of the game for some lucky fans — at the expense of all the others, according to The Street.

Anyone with a season ticket can now, very easily, become a semiprofessional scalper with little risk or effort.

The inevitable result? No one ever wants to give up their tickets. Families are doubtless finding ways to keep them even after the named owner dies. Tickets are simply worth too much.

So tickets become rarer and rarer. That sends prices higher and higher … making the tickets even more valuable.

It’s a vicious circle … unless you’re on the right side of the trade. Baseball could stop it pretty easily, but it doesn’t.

Ron Bumgarner, a senior ticketing advisor to the Sox, says the online trade has emerged as a major industry. The “secondary market” in Red Sox tickets is now worth about $100 million a year, he says.

That’s money being taken out of the hands of fans, but it isn’t going to the team.
The story will be similar in most American cities, although the numbers probably won’t be as dramatic. Boston probably favors the ticket holders most, because Fenway Park is pretty small and Sox fever is so intense.

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