EBay’s online ticket resale company StubHub has officially launched its UK site, but it is facing a few bumps in the road as it begins ticket sales in one of the world’s largest ticket markets.
As covered by TicketNews, StubHub UK began in a limited capacity with its beta version debuting in December 2011. This past week marked the beginning of StubHub officially promoting the service as being open for business.
StubHub is an online ticket resale site that allows individuals to sell their previously purchased tickets to sporting events and concerts.. Through a secured transaction, the tickets are then purchased by individuals who are looking for tickets to an upcoming event. StubHub, as with many online ticket resale sites, does not generally place caps on the price a ticket may be resold for, allowing for a free market exchange of tickets.
StubHub has already made a massive impact in the United States, rising to the top of the online ticket resale ranks since its launch in 2000. Currently, nearly 75 percent of all StubHub US tickets sold are related to professional sporting events. To that effect, StubHub US has partnered with several professional sporting organizations, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and the NCAA.
With StubHub US focused so intensely on professional sports ticket resale, it would be expected that StubHub UK would also look to gain a foothold in selling tickets to upcoming big ticket sporting events. However, due to more stringent ticket resale laws in the UK, it could be months or even years before StubHub UK is able to offer tickets for the UK’s most popular sport; soccer.
Soccer, or football as it is known outside of the US, is closely regulated in terms of ticket sales in the UK. Each individual club is given the sole right to determine what sites will be allowed to resell tickets to its matches. By entering into a partnership with a club, a site is then able to resell tickets to matches — sometimes even becoming the sole partner in resale.
While only about 5 percent of StubHub’s initial ticket sales in the UK will be involving sporting events, should StubHub begin generating partnerships with the various soccer clubs throughout the UK, that percentage has the potential to reach US levels rather quickly.
Fiona Chow, head of StubHub’s UK communications, acknowledged to The Wall Street Journal that soccer is a huge part of the UK sporting identity, adding that StubHub UK will be “looking into” building partnerships with the various UK clubs. Chow also sees the various UK music festivals as potential big draws for StubHub UK, along with the several large concert arenas throughout the country.
According to a report by The Guardian, StubHub UK expects to make more than 300 million pounds in secondary ticket sales through the site. StubHub is also planning to launch a physical store on Great Portland Street in Central London, allowing fans to purchase tickets in person rather than online. There are also talks of additional “pop up” physical stores being placed throughout the UK.