SBD/March 19, 2013/Franchises

Yankees Trying To Block Ticket Transactions At StubHub Pickup Location Near Park

The Yankees yesterday sued StubHub in Bronx County Supreme Court, seeking to block the resale marketplace from allowing tickets to the team's games to be transacted at StubHub's new pickup location near Yankee Stadium. The club is seeking an injunction against StubHub, with a hearing set for today. New York law prohibits the resale of tickets within 1,500 feet of a facility with at least 5,000 permanent seats. As a result, the case rests largely on what specifically constitutes resale in a ticket transaction. StubHub says the pickup spot, located at 68 E. 161st St., diagonally across the 161st St.-River Ave intersection from the ballpark, will only be to retrieve prior orders and represents a legally permissible, distinct activity. The Yankees argue that retrieval is a fundamental part of the original sales transaction, and as a result, violates the law. The club's complaint reads in part, "One consequence of StubHub's unlawful action will be to disrupt the relationship between the Yankees and the Yankees' season-ticket holders, because the season-ticket holders may choose to purchase tickets through the unlawful Bronx (Last Minute Services) center instead of directly from the Yankees." The Yankees opted out of StubHub's recent five-year contract renewal with MLBAM and have since created their own resale marketplace, Yankees Ticket Exchange, in partnership with Ticketmaster.

SCALPING LIKELY TO OCCUR: The club also alleges in its complaint the StubHub location will encourage additional scalping and higher pedestrian congestion near the stadium. The file reads, "Those scalpers will purchase 'last minute' tickets at the LMS center, and then attempt to resell them in front of Yankee Stadium, leading to an increase in crime, nuisance and a further diversion of N.Y. Police Department resources in the area surrounding Yankee Stadium." StubHub in a statement said it will "vigorously defend itself" from what it called a "baseless lawsuit." The company said, "This lawsuit is a move by the Yankees to reduce competition and consumer choice. StubHub has always abided by and will continue to abide by the current [New York] statute." Depending on what happens with the injunction hearing, the StubHub pickup location is set to open Friday.
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Franchises, New York Yankees, StubHub

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