Secondary Ticketing Companies Corner Market For Haye-Bellew Bout
The sale of seats for the heavyweight boxing showdown between David Haye and Tony Bellew at the O2 Arena on March 4 has "demonstrated the way pirate ticketing now dominates the market," according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. The official sale via the O2 website "sold out in 55 minutes on Wednesday," but secondary ticketing companies Viagogo, GetMeIn, StubHub and Seatwave had "thousands of seats available at inflated prices, even offering fans the chance to buy five together for a premium fee." Haye-Bellew promoter Matchroom, run by Eddie Hearn, is in a partnership with StubHub, which also sponsors its "marquee heavyweight" Anthony Joshua. Matchroom claims it is "not responsible for the unofficial online operators having so many tickets." A spokesperson said, "We have an agreement with StubHub but only for selling pre-general sale tickets to members at face value." However, anti-fraud ticket consultant Reg Walker told a recent Department for Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee that Matchroom was "supplying StubHub." Walker said, "Boxing is probably the most problematic. Factors come into play, such as Matchroom placing its allocation straight on StubHub." Scalpers also "harvest vast numbers of tickets during general sales through sophisticated computer software" (DAILY MAIL, 11/30).