Industry News

Blue Jays under fire for scalping revelations 

The Toronto Blue Jays have come under fire from fans after it was revealed they and other Major League Baseball teams are profiting from ticket resale.

According to a CBC and Toronto Star investigation, StubHub’s partnership with the Jays gives the team a cut of every single ticket resold on its site, helping the baseball club to profit from the scalping of its own tickets.

CBC and the Toronto Star claim the MLB club’s average price for online seats was 205 per cent above face value, with the Jays getting a cut of each online sale.

More than 45 per cent of all stadium seats, around 20,500 tickets, to the opening day game were posted for sale on online ticket reselling platforms StubHub, VividSeats, TicketsNow and SeatGeek, the Toronto Star’s detailed analysis of online ticket listings over the past two months shows.

“There have been instances in the past where some teams have used us as an alternative distribution channel,” StubHub head of global communications Glenn Lehrman told The Star, though he declined to confirm (but did not deny) the Blue Jays specifically employing the tactic. “It’s something we would encourage teams to do.”

However, the news has seen many angry fans expressing their distaste for the practice online or through the newspaper’s Letters to the Editor section.

“The Jays had best remember that their livelihoods depend on fan support,” wrote Georgia Volker of Toronto. “This is no way to treat your devoted and adoring fan base.”

“I will never again buy tickets to any of Blue Jays games,” wrote Louis Desjardins of Belleville, Ontario. “When going online, all ticket sales go either to Ticketmaster (“sorry, unavailable, try again”), Vivid, StubHub or other resale vendors. Now I see that the club gets a share of these sales. This is a truly disgusting revelation.

“It’s not at all surprising that sports teams are now getting in on the ticket-broker action, as musical acts have been scalping their own fans for years via StubHub, et al.,” he wrote in a letter published on Sunday. “Sadly, greed now seems to be the great American pastime.”

Image: James G