It’s been a tradition for many entrepreneurs to sell Super Bowl tickets that they didn’t yet have and wait for the prices to drop to gain more profit. This year, the price drop never came, and resellers are losing thousands of dollars.
Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events in the world. It’s no wonder many people are trying to gain profit by reselling tickets they don’t actually have. Every year, resellers sell tickets several weeks before the big event. About two weeks before the Super Bowl, the price of tickets on the secondary market, such as StubHub and Vivid Seats would drop significantly. Resellers buy tickets when the price is low, making good money in the process.
History Didn’t Repeat Itself
This year, the expected drop in ticket prices never happened. Instead, prices have shot up dramatically, leaving many resellers short tens of thousands of dollars. As of Friday, the cheapest ticket on StubHub was over $10,000, which eventually dropped to $8,000.
“If those numbers even seem low, it’s because most of the tickets sold before Wednesday, when the price skyrocketed,” ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported Sunday. “By Thursday, it was nearly impossible to find a ticket for under $4,500. Come Saturday, scoring a ticket for less than $7,000 would be a feat.”
What Caused the Spike in Price?
It’s not clear what caused the price increase. It may be a result of a large increase in demand, but StubHub has its own theory. According to a press release issued by the company, the people who sold tickets to brokers might have restricted supply to drive up prices.
The Brokers’ Tricky Options
Brokers now face big problems, which may ruin their business and reputation. They have two options: to buy tickets at high prices in order to provide what they promised to their customers or to flake on their buyers and sacrifice their reputation. Either way, resellers will have to deal with serious consequences; it’s up to them to decide which action to take.
How the Problem Occurs
Speculations about the reason behind this problem have surfaced. Some people say short selling (the act of selling tickets before actually having them) is the main cause. Brokers tend to promise things just to gain more profit. Brokers have the desire to earn more and use the fans’ obsession for the Super Bowl to their advantage.
The Possible Solution
NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said in a statement that the league has no role in the secondary ticket market. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, said that it looks like “a civil matter where there might be damages between the patron and person who sold them the tickets”. According to him, it has to be proven that a reseller had a habitual record of fraudulent activity before his office can have jurisdiction over the matter.
Brnovich also suggests that it’s possible for NFL to help avoid market manipulation in the future. He said the league could hold back tickets and release them closer to the Super Bowl game.