Is StubHub President Chris Tsakalakis an ultimate game changer in sports? The readers of online news site The Huffington Post will have the opportunity to decide this month.
Tsakalakis, one of the most influential executives in the ticketing industry, is one of nine sports figures nominated for the honor, which is part of a series The Huffington Post is running where it names 100 innovators in several industries and areas of interest.
The game changers are people who, “whether working in the spotlight or under the radar, are changing how we look at the world and the way we live in it,” the Web site states. “[The Huffington Post salutes] them for their willingness to look at things and take the risk of saying, ‘I think I have a better way.'”
Tsakalakis, who wrote an editorial for The Huffington Post over the summer, was nominated for “making shady ticket scalpers an endangered species.”
“Tsakalakis is the president of StubHub, a site that has introduced the second-hand ticket business to the disinfecting sunlight of the World Wide Web,” the site said. “While many pro teams continue to jack up ticket prices, prices on StubHub have been going down since the recession hit. Two years ago, Tsakalakis pulled off a groundbreaking partnership between StubHub and Major League Baseball wherein fans looking for tickets on MLB.com are sent to StubHub. Is it only a matter of time until the rest of the sports business — pro and college — follows suit?”
In his editorial, Tsakalakis wrote about what StubHub, and other secondary ticket market Web sites, offer fans, “When I was a kid in Chicago, I could never attend a Bears game because my family didn’t know any season ticket holders. Now, I can go whenever I want due to the resale market. Multiply my story millions of times over, and you’ll see how those that benefit the most from the ticket resale are the devoted fans.”
The other sports figures nominated were baseball pitcher Armando Galarraga and umpire Jim Joyce; tennis great Serena Williams; Denver Broncos first round draft pick Tim Tebow; amputee athletes Amy Palmiero-Winters and Catherine Hughes; NBA executive Heidi Ueberroth; and soccer star Landon Donovan.