The Chicago White Sox are launching a plan to scalp tickets to several premium games this season. Tickets for premium lower box seats to 46 prime and premier games are going to be auctioned off on the team’s website, with opening bids at $65 and $80 respectively per ticket. The team is trying to spin this as “an exciting new opportunity for the fans” because these seats were previously not available to the general public. It neatly skirts around the real issue: the White Sox have begun scalping their own tickets, which several music artists have also begun doing.
With StubHub! acting as the official ticket reseller for all MLB teams, the idea of paying a premium to get great seats for exciting games is already condoned in the new culture of baseball. The primary ticket market is simply recapturing the revenue that it previously allowed the secondary ticket market to capture, which is good business sense for the teams.
What are these prime and premiere opportunities? They are usually signified by when another exciting team to watch comes to town. These games significantly increase the price for tickets to see the Sox. Fans looking to see the Kansas City Royals come to town will still pay normal prices, but when the Yankees come to town, fans can expect to pay more for their Sox tickets.
Across town, the Chicago Cubs are pondering a similar move. With the new construction of 70 seats around the bullpen in Wrigley Field comes the opportunity for additional ticket sales. The Cubs will be auctioning off these seats to the highest bidder in the coming weeks. It is unclear whether the auction would be for the season or per game at this time.
Both teams are looking to increase revenues. The Cubs have also sold a variety of naming rights to corporate sponsors in the off-season, and installed additional advertising. If the trend continues, revuenues for events should increase at the expense of profits in the secondary ticket market. The moves are not entirely surprising, as the Sox have a history of auctioning off special ticket packages last season.