Examining the Impact of the StubHub Agreement on Price Dispersion in Major League Baseball, pp. 129-137

Nicholas M. Watanabe
Brian P. Soebbing
Pamela Wicker

The growth of the second-hand ticket market has increased the complexity of ticket pricing for sport franchises. In 2007, Major League Baseball (MLB) signed an agreement with StubHub, an online seller of secondhand tickets. Although pricing in MLB has been investigated previously in the literature, price dispersion (i.e., multiple prices for a similar product) and the effects of the second-hand ticket market have been largely neglected. The purpose of this research is to examine the impact of the StubHub agreement on pricing behavior of MLB teams using data from the seasons 1975 to 2010 (except 2009). The results of regression analyses show the StubHub deal had a significant and positive influence on price dispersion, measured by the total number of price levels and the inequality amongst those ticket price levels (Gini coefficient). The findings have implications for the marketing and pricing strategies of professional sport franchises.