Industry News

Ticket brokers bet big on World Series to offset potential losses

Ticket brokers covering Major League Baseball’s (MLB’s) World Series could lose out on more than $20m (£15.1m/€17.2m) in ticketing profits if the match-up doesn’t reach Game Seven.

The Houston Astros lead the best-of-seven series 3-2 against the Los Angeles Dodgers heading into tonight’s sixth game in California.

If the Astros lose, Game Seven would be held on Wednesday in Los Angeles – which would mean millions of dollars’ worth of inventory could be flogged by ticket brokers. If they win, no one will be tickets for Dodgers Stadium.

According to ESPN, the brokers are hedging their bets by gambling big money on the Astros to win today’s game.

Las Vegas sportsbook directors told ESPN they have taken bets of several hundred thousand dollars from brokers in the past two weeks on the World Series and American League Championship series.

Brokers own around 15,000 tickets for each World Series game at Dodgers Stadium and the Dodgers sell the most season tickets to brokers than any other MLB franchises, ESPN reports.

“I’ve never seen so many brokers place bets here,” said John Avello, director of the race and sports book for the Wynn, ESPN reports. “And I know they’re brokers, because they are upfront with me and tell me their intention to hedge based on what they have in tickets.”

Avello said the brokers, on average, have bet $200,000 to $300,000 on past games.

“And that’s just me,” Avello said. “You can assume they’re spreading it across town.”

Earlier this week, StubHub honoured World Series tickets offered in error for just $9 (£6.82/€7.74), despite average resale price being in the thousands.

If the series reaches Game Seven, fans will be looking at paying an average of $3,000, with the most expensive costing $28,000, Fox Business reports.

However, one lucky fan found two tickets on secondary marketplace StubHub for a total of just $18.16 for Game Two. After the company verified the tickets, it reportedly told the Dodgers fan, Jordan Benedict, he would have to simply accept a refund because it was a seller error. However, the company then had a change of heart.

This is the Dodgers’ first World Series since 1988, while the Astros, who played in one World Series while a member of the National League in 2005 against the Chicago White Sox, are looking to win the first championship in their history.

The Dodgers are the third most expensive home World Series ticket averaging an estimated $2,500 behind only the Indians, who averaged $2,700, and the Cubs with a $3,500 average last year, according to TicketIQ.

Image: Eric Kilby