Few subjects in the ticketing industry have been able to hit the nerves of fans and brokers alike, but one of them is the idea of artists, promoters or sports teams scalping their own tickets. Now comes word out of Chicago that their beloved Cubs may be doing just that.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that they were told by a “legal ticket broker” that many of the seats being sold on StubHub to the upcoming Cubs-White Sox series, came directly from the Cubs box office.
The broker told the Sun-Times that he and other brokers knew where the tickets came from.
A spokesperson from the Cubs did not immediately respond to inquiries from TicketNews requesting comment.
Some of the tickets in question were for Section 19 at Wrigley Field which sell for as much as $80 face value, according to the Cubs’ Website. Those tickets were being sold for up to five times that amount.
”Anything in Section 19 definitely came from the Cubs,” the broker told the Sun-Times. ”These seats are coming right out of their box office to StubHub.”
A search conducted by TicketNews of two other major secondary ticket sites, TicketLiquidator and TicketsNow, showed tickets available in Section 19.
Accusations of scalping are nothing new for the Chicago Cubs, which were taken to court after they were accused of scalping their own tickets in 2003. According to Illinois state law, no one can resell tickets to your own sports event, but the Cubs argued that the tickets were sold through a company called Wrigley Field Premium Ticket Services and not directly through the team. The argument was successful because Wrigley Field Premium Ticket Services was ruled a subsidiary of the Tribune Co.
The Tribune Co. currently owns the Cubs.
“Brokers should be very disappointed today,” Cubs vice president of business operations Mark McGuire told ESPN in 2003 after the courts ruled in the teams favor. “Fans who buy tickets through those sources will have more choices, good seats, at better prices, than what they would have if freedom did not exist.”
For the 2008 season, the Cubs cross town rival White Sox got in the action of selling tickets above face value in the form of auctions, TicketNews reported in February.
Whether through auction, or reselling on secondary sites, more and more teams are looking to circumvent ticket brokers, and tap into the revenue of the secondary market for themselves.