As many industry participants are aware, one NBA franchise, the Cleveland Cavaliers, recently announced a substantial shift in how they will execute ticket sales operations. It remains to be seen if this is more of an announcement than a literal plan of execution, but nonetheless this brings to the forefront the relationship between teams or venues and brokers. Teams often make certain statements publicly yet engage in actual transactions that may not match public proclamations about sales to professional buyers. Perhaps in response to the acquisition of both Lebron James and Kevin Love (not to mention a handful of very high recent draft picks), the Cavaliers appear intent on aggressively trying to operate without the secondary market. To wit, from the team’s website:
In addition, fans who want to purchase guaranteed single game tickets in advance, and outside of the monthly lottery process, can easily do that at the Flash Seats marketplace, the team’s official secondary ticket market, which will also open on September 26th.
The team is taking this new and unique monthly lottery approach in an effort to reduce the number of outside brokers and individuals simply looking to purchase individual game tickets in bulk and months in advance, with the sole intent of reselling them. Unprecedented demand led to this creative solution that we believe will help get as many tickets as possible into the hands of as many different fans that genuinely intend to use their tickets themselves.
“The excitement for the upcoming Cavs season is off the charts and we can’t wait to get started,” said Cavaliers CEO Len Komoroski. “It’s a fact that the high demand for tickets far exceeds the supply. We were committed to find a way to strategically help manage a ticket buying process that would protect the integrity of the purchase for our true fans, and we believe a timed monthly lottery will help ensure that is the case.”
Certainly one can understand why at this very moment demand for Cavaliers tickets is very strong with expectations of a run for the championship this season in a city starving for success in professional sports in general. However, what does this mean for the long term relationship between teams and brokers? Will other teams make pronounced attempts to exclude the traditional secondary market in response to obtaining key players? More importantly, how do you think this will impact your business and your industry in general?
Feel free to comment below.