(This story was updated at 6:35 p.m. EST on Friday, January 7, 2011, to include a statement from U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr.)
As it continued to dig out from under the BCS Championship ticket mess that has rocked the company, StubHub officials said today, January 7, that the company is “fully confident” that it will fill all the affected ticket orders.
In addition, the company, which is the official ticket resale marketplace for the Bowl Championship Series national championship, plans to resume its resale market for the game by Saturday afternoon, January 8. The game is scheduled to be played in Arizona on Monday, January 10, between Auburn and Oregon.
“On Wednesday night, we stopped the resale of tickets on StubHub for the BCS National Championship game, in order to mitigate problematic orders. Yesterday, we sent out an email to some of our buyers, offering a monetary incentive to sell us back their tickets, so that we could fill outstanding orders,” the company said in a statement. “At 12:30pm PT today, we stopped buying back tickets, and after an incredible response from buyers, we are now fully confident that everyone who purchased a ticket on StubHub will be able to attend the event.”
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., a Democrat from New Jersey, praised StubHub for its swift action, but reiterated his call for federal legislation of the secondary ticket market to help avoid such situations. Pascrell is planning to reintroduce a proposal, the Better Oversight of Secondary Sales and Accountability in Concert Ticketing (BOSS ACT) bill, in the 112th Congress.
“I greatly appreciate StubHub’s efforts to protect those people who trusted their web site to buy tickets to this greatly anticipated sporting event,” Pascrell said in a statement. “But the fact is that this week’s incidents demonstrate that, even in the best circumstances, ticket buyers are vulnerable consumers – particularly in the online secondary market. There is an obviously need for a federal legislative remedy that the BOSS ACT would provide. I am committed to making sure the online secondary ticket sales marketplace is a fair one for the ticket-buying public.”
Due to one of the company’s large broker clients being unable to fill several ticket orders for the game, StubHub was forced to suspend sales and scramble to buy an undisclosed number of tickets to fill other orders. The company was offering full refunds and incentive payments — some of which were for thousands of dollars — to obtain enough tickets to fill outstanding orders, essentially utilizing a similar tactic that airlines use when a flight is overbooked.
But, the problem was not limited to just StubHub, as other brokers, sports package tour companies and others found that they also could not provide tickets they had promised to fans. Prices for tickets to the game had skyrocketed in recent weeks, in part due to many of those tickets being sold on a speculative basis. As prices kept rising, some brokers and others had difficulty obtaining tickets to fill their orders, and at least one broker, Southeastern Tickets Inc. of Alabama, reportedly is being sued by an Auburn alumnus who did not receive the tickets he ordered.
“Additionally, we will turn the event back on tomorrow afternoon to allow the exchange of tickets to continue between fans,” StubHub said in a statement. “Tickets will be available on StubHub until game time on Monday, and we firmly stand behind our FanProtect guarantee. We will not be selling any of the tickets we bought back from buyers, as those tickets will only be used to satisfy customers’ orders. We’d like to sincerely thank our fans for their support and understanding with this matter.”