Comments on: New Jersey suit: Super Bowl tickets improperly not sold at face value Chronicling the high cost of our legal system Fri, 28 Aug 2015 20:16:17 +0000 hourly 1 By: Timothy Horrigan` Mon, 03 Feb 2014 14:11:09 +0000 I agree that those Super Bowl tickets are expensive. I seriously considered making the six-hour drive to the big game this year, and was dissuaded by the four-and five-figure ticket prices. But I don’t agree with Mr Finkelman that those tickets were too expensive. Last night, I saw on my TV (in between the commercials) that every seat in Met Life Stadium was full.

In January 1983, I was a student at the Marshall School of Business at USC. Super Bowl XVIII was held at the Rose Bowl, which is 16 miles up the Harbor Freeway from the campus. The host committee had a few remaining seats in the upper reaches of the end zone to fill, and they quietly offered tickets a few days before the game to business-school students. I turned the offer down, because the price was way beyond my budget. That price was $75, which now seems ludicrously low. In 1983 and 2014 alike, the stadium was full of fans who were happy to pay the ticket prices, and the rest of us were able to enjoy the game on TV.

By: gitarcarver Mon, 13 Jan 2014 22:49:40 +0000 Allan,

I am not sure that you understand how controlled the tickets are in this day and age. Gone are the days in modern venues where an outside company prints tickets. Companies can tell you who bought what ticket, how and when it was paid for. It would be very difficult for a block of tickets to be “stolen” without it appearing on the tracking sheets for sales as there is no money for the seats.

However, assume that you have an employee of ticket company that steals the tickets and sells them to a scalper (without the money going back to the company.)

That would be a theft of property, the same as if the employee stole a case of canned corn from a grocery store.

We have laws in place that prosecute such actions and it is my opinion that we don’t need to have specific laws targeting specific businesses.

By: Allan Mon, 13 Jan 2014 15:24:52 +0000 Gitarcarver,

The graft and corruption I refer to does not come from the actual companies who promote the event or own the venue. It is their employees, who could take a bribe to take the the tickets and sell them as a block to scalpers. The aggrieved party would be the company.

If the scalpers paid the company itself a bonus, I would agree this is not graft or corruption.

By: gitarcarver Fri, 10 Jan 2014 23:06:34 +0000 DD,

I don’t think that Allan’s point is “good” at all. The performer sets the price of the tickets to cover his costs and make money. Whether the performance sells out due to the tickets being sold to the public at face value or whether “scalpers” or other interests buy the tickets up at face value, the performer makes the same money.

Arguable, the risk takers here are the scalpers as they buy tickets on the basis that they can sell them for more than the face value. If they buy all the tickets and the performance does not sell out, the venue has made money they wanted, the performer has made the money they wanted and the scalper is the one losing money.


I am not sure where there is “graft or corruption.” Doesn’t the performer get the money they want from the face value of the tickets? If promoters want to steal tickets from performers and sell them, they don’t need scalpers to do so. They can just sell them on eBay, Craigslist, etc. At the end of the day, there is an accounting that says to the performer “this is the number of tickets that were sold and here is your money.” Failure to account for the tickets (ie stealing them) is different from scalping.

By: Ron Miller Fri, 10 Jan 2014 22:02:55 +0000 For such a conservative site, I’m amazed at how many people are so worried about someone “getting over” in the free market economy. Someone mentioned the state should have a say if they partially funded the stadium. Well, if the states wanted a say, they should include that in their contract to agree to build the building. They should have no right to interfere if they don’t.

Someone else expressed a concern for the poor performance who are not benefiting from the high prices. Well, they know that selling out quickly has value that helps them further their brand. How do I know this? They could always charge more if they wanted to do so.

The Yankees were tired of scalpers getting so much money for their tickets so they jacked prices up like crazy a few years back. There was no one buying those seats and it looked creepy watching the games on television. I think they did the right thing to maximize their profits by making the prices reflect the real value. But they went to far in what they though the tickets were worth and they paid the price both in revenues and in PR (because everyone noticed it).

By: DensityDuck Fri, 10 Jan 2014 20:49:22 +0000 Allan makes a really good point about the money from a scalper’s overhead stays with the scalper, rather than going into the pool that pays the performers. And that is an important consideration in this Brave New World where performers are supposed to make all their money from performing, rather than selling recordings.

By: Allan Fri, 10 Jan 2014 20:33:54 +0000 OK, then. The venue is good as far as profit goes. the promoter is taking the risk. But there is still room for graft and corruption if an employee for the venue or the promoter is entitled to hold back tickets and sell them to a ticket dealer of their choice.

By: gitarcarver Fri, 10 Jan 2014 19:57:32 +0000 On the other hand, by holding the event, the venue is taking a risk (not selling tickets).

I used to sign contracts for venues. The venue gets paid no matter what. There is no risk for the venue as it is going to get paid. Furthermore, the venue gets a cut of whatever is sold in the venue. That means whether you buy a hot dog, adult beverage, souvenir, CD, t-shirt, etc, the venue gets a cut of that.

So if you have a concert with an artist who brings in their own merchandise with their own people to sell it, the venue gets a cut of th0se items sold no matter what.

The bottom line is that the venue is going to get paid and make a profit no matter what. The more popular an event, the more money they will make, but they are not taking a risk at all.

By: Allan Fri, 10 Jan 2014 16:08:57 +0000 The reason I oppose scalping, in general, is that the money from scalping goes to the scalpers, rather than the performers. Say a concert of a popular singer is held. The tickets cost $X and the performer gets y% of the $X. But the venue decides, for $1 million, to sell all the tickets to a scalper, who can make a good profit. The venue makes 100% of the $1 million, while the act is left in the cold. That is wrong (but, then again, the performer can contract to prevent this). In addition, this could lead to corruption by high level managers. (I could see those managers buying a block of tickets and pocketing the money personally).

On the other hand, by holding the event, the venue is taking a risk (not selling tickets). It passes the risks off to scalpers. The result is that the venue gets paid, regardless of ticket sales, and the concert goers get their concert for the amount they paid. If the scalpers did not act as insurers, perhaps there would be fewer events (because the venues or performers do not want to take the risk of lower ticket sales) or ticket prices would generally be higher for all events (to make up for low selling events).

In sum, I have some qualms about scalpers. But they may be helping to make more events available and make the market more efficient. I just wish all of this would be out in the open so we could actually see how the market works and really tell if there is graft and corruption, or whether it is actually improving efficient markets.

By: gitarcarver Fri, 10 Jan 2014 02:57:39 +0000 To some extent, I think this should come down to “who owns the building?”

According to the fine intellectual source of information Wikipedia, MetLife Stadium was built by the Giants and Jets with team money, but is administered by a commission established by the New Jersey Senate.

If that means the building itself is a private building, then as far as I am concerned the Jets/Giants/NFL can do whatever the heck they want with the tickets and no law should be able to tell them otherwise.

However, on the other hand, when the stadiums / arenas / venues are funded by public funds, then the public should have a say in the administration of the building and the dispensation of the tickets.