Did I say "scalpers"? That's so politically incorrect! I meant that "brokers" are the ones allowed to buy blocks of tickets from that team with a racial slur nickname, instead of the fans on their notoriously long waiting list.
The Washington Post has a nifty report about the relationship between the Washington football team and ticket brokers who resell their tickets on the "secondary market," usually for more than face value. Like me, you probably assumed that brokers mined season ticket holders and VIPs for loose tickets they can flip for a profit. They do that too, but in the case of the Redskins they have also been allowed to buy huge blocks of tickets, often in package deals that give them direct, worry-free access to some of the best seats in the house.
The Redskins claim it was rouge employees in the ticket office who signed contracts with the brokers and they have been "dealt with." But listening to the brokers themselves, this is not seem usual or untoward. One broker last year bought 217 season tickets, plus 2,000 individual game tickets as part of package in which the company agreed to take a block of premium seats—which the team can't sell—in exchange for a huge block of regular tickets that the broker can make a healthy profit on. (If they can sell the premium tickets too, even better.) And they are not the only company allowed to do so.
The team also routinely sells single-game tickets directly on StubHub, instead of their own channels, even using fake accounts that belong to ticket office employees. A team spokesman says they "try" to sell them at face value, but sometimes people just want to pay more. Oops!
What's worse, the team has been suing fans who bought premium seats or luxury suites in multi-year contracts and now find that they can no longer afford them. In some cases, they won judgments or settlements against the fans for trying to back out, and then resold the tickets anyway. Unfortunately, they can't add those double wins to their record.
But don't worry, loyal fans. They're doing it for you! The scal... sorry, "broker" explains.
"It really is very hard to get single-game tickets from the Redskins, especially for a game like Pittsburgh," Greenberg said. "So the only way you could get tickets to that game if we, the secondary market, didn't exist, would be if you bought whole-season tickets. But if you only wanted to go to one game, why shouldn't you be able pay whatever its worth?"
See? If he hadn't created scarcity by buying up all the tickets, then you wouldn't be able to use the awesome secondary market that he and his friends artificially created. Duh! Oh, and naturally the NFL has no opinion on the matter because they're too busy suing Delaware. Tell me again why we enjoy getting ripped off so much?
Selling to Brokers, Suing Fans [Washington Post, photo: via]
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