Back during the World Series, I was toying with splurging and trying to get last-minute seats to one of the games (although I ended up not doing so). Anyhow, I was pretty amazed by the number of seats available on StubHub. Which got me wondering how the economics of that, and similarly popular things like Book of Mormon, work. My guess is it’s basically like this:
(a) at some point, like 9 a.m. on March 3 or whatever, a bunch of tickets are scheduled to go on sale online through the “official” ticket source
(b) there are a bunch of people who pay attention to this kind of thing, who are hovering on their computers at 9 a.m. that day, and all the tickets are bought up instantly at face value
© then nearly all of them are immediately put up for sale on StubHub, because the vast majority of the 9 a.m. hoverers just want to make a profit, not go to a world series game or production of the Book of Mormon.
(d) For sports events, of course, some number of the tickets go to season ticket holders. But I’d think that at least a fairly good percentage of people who care about the SF giants enough to get season tickets would want to attend the world series. Or do people get season tickets and then just stubhub all the individual games?
So this means there are some number of people out there who are either supplementing or creating their income by buying tickets and then reselling them, all without ever leaving their houses.
Is this analysis basically correct? How many people do this? Are there just 10 or 20 people who scalp thousands of tickets each for every event? Or are there limitations on how many tickets an individual can buy?
Also, why don’t the official ticket sellers raise their prices for anything that is super popular? Is there some kind of anti-trust legal stuff involved? It seems clear that they’re leaving money on the table if so many of their tickets are being resold at higher than face value…