If you weren’t already aware, the Yankees opted out of StubHub’s new deal with MLB earlier in 2013, and set up their own service through Ticketmaster called the Yankees Ticket Exchange for fans to re-sell tickets.
The Yankees were not happy about ticket prices on StubHub (that is, actual market prices) dropping well below face value, and it stands to reason that season ticket holders weren’t happy about eating a big part of the tickets they couldn’t use.
I’ve detailed what it boils down to in this post that I wrote for Pinstriped Bible, but ultimately the Yankees want to keep charging outrageous prices for tickets and they saw StubHub as jeopardizing their ability to do it.
But they couldn’t admit to fans that their ticket prices were much higher than people were willing to pay, so it was sold as the Yankees wanting to ensure that people would have authentic tickets to the event. I won’t go into why that’s bogus. Already did that. But just for your edification, I will describe my first experience with the Ticket Exchange.
I went to see the Yankees play the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on a Sunday. Because I often wait until the last minute I can to get tickets, I went online that morning before getting on a Boltbus to New York City.
I compared the StubHub and Ticket Exchange prices; they were generally the same (remember, the fees are included in StubHub’s displayed ticket prices, and they are not added to the displayed ticket price on the Ticket Exchange).
The Ticket Exchange had the cheapest non-bleacher seat available and I didn’t want a seat without a back, so I went with that. I clicked on the necessary buttons and bought the ticket, requesting online delivery via e-mail. The $20 ticket, with the “service charge” and “delivery fee”, came to $26.95.
I received a confirmation e-mail, then another order confirmation e-mail instructing me that another e-mail was coming with the printable ticket. I waited. And waited. For an hour that e-mail did not arrive, and finally I had to leave to make the bus.
I figured it probably wouldn’t be a problem to pick up the ticket at Will Call, and it wasn’t. I told the story to the fellow in the booth and received my ticket with no trouble in a few minutes.
But I shouldn’t have had to do that, especially since I paid a “delivery fee” for something that was not delivered. And if there was a long line waiting for Will Call, as there sometimes is, I would have had to wait, and I would not have been happy about that.
For the record, I’ve never had this problem with StubHub. Whenever requesting tickets to be e-mailed to me, I’ve gotten them within seconds of completing the transaction.
The Yankees sold this as “We want to ensure that people will have genuine tickets available for the event.” For a time, I was at least mildly concerned that I wouldn’t have a ticket that I paid for, which supposedly was the Yankees’ reasoning behind the Ticket Exchange. I never did get that e-mail.
So while I did get a reasonably priced ticket, the Yankees Ticket Exchange probably has some bugs to be worked out, but you’d think it wouldn’t be a problem given how long Ticketmaster’s been in the business.
They did refund the “delivery fee” of $4.95, which is to their credit, but something tells me Ticketmaster wouldn’t have done that in the days before StubHub existed.
StubHub will probably be my first choice in the future for Yankees tickets. StubHub is still as safe as it has been, despite what the Yankees’ PR department would have you think.
UPDATE: I recently performed an unscientific comparison, and tickets for similar sections...sometimes the same seats...are significantly cheaper on the Yankees Ticket Exchange. The Ticket Exchange doesn't include the StubHub fees plus the UPS charges. Compare for yourself, but the Ticket Exchange is cheaper for now.
Of course, to know all your ticket buying options, you need a Yankee Stadium E-Guide...
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