My Tickets, My Choice?

There are very few times in my life that I have actually scratched my head in confusion about something. One of those times was the other day when I learned that to some in the live entertainment and sports industry, there's an argument that you don't actually own the tickets you purchase for events.

Let me break that down for you as shockingly as I had it broken down for me:

You buy a ticket for a baseball game and a week before the game, you realize that you just can't go. Something has come up. Maybe you forgot about a final exam or your soon to be ex-girlfriend's birthday (because you forgot her birthday) and you just can't make it to the game.

You spent a lot of money on these tickets that you purchased, because if you're me and you purchased tickets to see the Mets, you want to sit close enough so that when they lose in the last few innings, they can see your face, not necessarily hear you yell at them. I don't yell anymore at games. I want them to see how physically depressed they make me so as to guilt them into a win. I digress.

I don't want to take a loss on these tickets, and if I have to, I don't want it to be the full ticket price, so I try to sell my tickets for what I paid for them, including any additional fees or shipping charges, which add up to a lot now. If it's a hot game and someone wants to pay me more than what I actually paid for the tickets in that instance, I won't turn it down. That IS ILLEGAL in some states, as they only allow fans to resell tickets for the ticket's face value, which often does not include fees. No StubHub; no Ebay; no Craiglist. Nothing. And I'm not going to be a professional scalper here; I'm just trying to recover as much of my money as possible on a game that I can't possibly attend or make a little extra money on the fluke chance someone really wants to go to the game and is willing to pay more than I did. This is one of the few times that I yelled, "Isn't this America? Don't we own what we purchase? And don't we live in a capitalist society where the free market and not hundred year old regulations dictate prices?" Apparently not.

What's worse is that some teams have actually canceled their season ticket holders' plans for reselling tickets on StubHub or other websites that the teams don't have a profit sharing deal with. Imagine getting in trouble and being banned from buying your tickets for trying to resell tickets however you choose, and not how the team dictates. What happened to old fashioned competition, where companies compete for my business, offering a better service or better pricing instead of strong arming people into giving them your business?

I did a bit of Internet searching and realized that this has actually happened to Warriors, Spurs, Nets, Devils, Dolphins and Saints fans. Thank God it's not the Mets.

It just doesn't seem right that I can't sell, for whatever price the market will bear, something that I purchased. Think about it, the teams already have their money for the seats. You aren't taking any food out of their already millionaire mouths. The people in the hierarchy of each of these organizations make a lot of money and have already received the money for the tickets. Not to mention the millions of dollars in public subsidies for stadium construction teams extort from states and cities to keep the team in place.

It seems illogical that they would care that you are going to resell your seats where you choose, how you choose and what price you choose.

I honestly don't get it.