Legal Implications of Reselling Tickets Above Face Value

James T. Reese
David L. Snyder

A number of professional sports teams are now engaged in various practices that allow tickets to be resold above face value. Such practices, which generate additional revenue for teams, are often the result of a relationship between teams and online entities such as StubHub. In one instance, a professional sports team and a ticket broker are vertically integrated. Some professional teams involved in these practices include the Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Lions, Dallas Stars, and Phoenix Coyotes (Reese & Snyder, 2004). In this article, the legality of these ticketing practices is addressed from both a civil and criminal perspective. Also, the underlying financial implications and influence on ticket policy development is examined. Finally, the impact on fan identification and loyalty is discussed and recommended controls are proposed.