We Thought Ticketmaster Was Screwing Us, But Now We Know It
Once again, the NFL is on the wrong side of being right. Forbes magazine reported that the NFL feels the laws of supply and demand do not apply to them when it comes to the secondary ticket market. Through the "Ticket Exchange" site, the NFL and Ticketmaster have created an arbitrary floor for the price of re-sold tickets.
The way that works is the teams set a lowest price that their tickets may be offered on Ticket Exchange. For example. according to the article, the Jaguars have a minimum price of $35. So if someone wanted to unload their end zone ticket for $30, they couldn't do it on Ticket Exchange. They'd have to eat it or *gulp* sit through a Jaguars game. Of course, they could sell it on another site, but with the NFL's imprimatur on the site and claiming that other secondary ticket sites aren't as secure or trustworthy, ticket owners are herded to Ticket Exchange and its fiscal floor.
Sure the NFL has the right to set the initial price of its teams' tickets. And if someone wants to pay as much for a Tampa Bay ticket as they would, say, a Denver one, so be it. And with only eight home games, that's bound to happen. But once it's been sold to an individual, the NFL should keep its nose out of the transactions.
So the next time you see Adam Smith's invisible hand of the market offering you an NFL ticket, check to make sure the other hand's not in your pocket.
David Young has been a columnist for Sports Illustrated and ESPN and is now one for SportsGrid.com. Follow him on Twitter @turkeysflying.