Featured News

Resale ticket prices for US sport decline amid coronavirus concerns

Ticket prices for US sporting events have drastically fallen on the secondary market after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared coronavirus a pandemic.

According to data from resale ticketing platform TicketIQ, the lowest price for this year’s opening round of golf’s Masters at Augusta is $1,458 on StubHub and just $1,080 on SeatGeek. For comparison, the average asking price of a badge for a Thursday opening round was $3,616 in 2016, $3,211 in 2017 and $4,475 in 2018.

“With fears growing about the coronavirus, and the plummeting stock market, get-in prices for the tournament are down 30 per cent and at a five-year low,” said Jesse Lawrence, the founder of TicketIQ.

Price drops can also be seen in other sports across the US, including in the NHL ice hockey league.

According to Ticket IQ data provided to CNBC, NHL ticket prices are down 5.6%, with the most significant drops coming to the New Jersey Devils (down 33%), New York Islanders (down 32%) and LA Kings (down 31%).

The NBA has now suspended its season after a player tested positive for the virus. Ahead of the announcement, secondary market prices for NBA games were down 4.3% since January, with the Los Angeles Clippers and Brooklyn Nets both seeing 30% declines.

The NHL said in a statement on Wednesday: “The National Hockey League is aware of the NBA’s decision tonight to indefinitely suspend its season due to a player testing positive for the coronavirus. The NHL is continuing to consult with medical experts and is evaluating the options. We expect to have a further update tomorrow.”

Lawrence told CNBC: “Some of the numbers do suggest that the markets where coronavirus is the worst, those are the markets where prices are down the most. One of the things we have noticed, quantity is way up, so a lot of people are selling instead of going [to games]. So, that’s also driving prices down.”

Tickets for the NCAA Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden have also decreased in price, with TicketIQ finding resale prices are down 34% from last year. The average price in 2020 is $133 compared to $200 in 2019.

The NCAA’s showpiece March Madness tournament, which is scheduled to get underway on March 17, will be played without fans amid concerns over the coronavirus. Only essential staff and family will be in attendance for what is one of the most popular college sports events on the US calendar. The event will still be televised.

Earlier this week, Broadway shows in New York have been dropping their primary ticket prices in a move designed to entice audiences with cheaper tickets.

Producer Scott Rudin, the man behind Broadway productions such as West Side Story and The Book of Mormon, has announced that all remaining tickets to all performances from March 12 through March 29 of these shows will be offered for $50, beginning today (Thursday).

Image: Torrey Wiley