With an acknowledgment of the growing resale ticket market, Major League Baseball will announce today that they will enter into a 5-year revenue-sharing agreement with ticket re-sale giant StubHub.
The deal, by way of MLB Advanced Media (MLBPA), will direct all 30 of the clubs' websites, plus MLB.com to StubHub for ticket resale purposes. As reported by the NY Times:
Robert A. Bowman, the chief executive of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, said that the deal with StubHub signals the league’s recognition that the secondary market is in the interest of baseball owners and that it made sense to have a centralized place where fans would feel comfortable conducting their exchanges.
“Clubs realize the secondary business is a vibrant business in baseball,” he said. “Therefore it’s in the clubs’ interest to endorse it, embrace it and make sure it’s a fan-friendly venue. Fans feel it’s safe and ethical and legitimate.”
As reported, the deal could create tension amongst the owners, however. League officials were not going to inform individual owners until today. A dozen clubs currently have agreements with re-sellers, such as TicketMaster, and this deal may not sit well with some owners that may see the ability to make their own deals more profitable than MLB's announced centralized model today.
The deal also puts the Yankees in a difficult position. Recall that the Yankees have a policy in place in which re-sale of season tickets results in having those tickets revoked. "Any direct or indirect sale, resale, auction, assignment, transfer or attempt at any of the foregoing (collectively, "resale") of any Ticket(s) by the Licensee or by any person or entity acting on the Licensee's behalf for any price violates the [season ticket] License."