June 29, 2011
Scalpers good for hockey
By TOM BRODBECK, QMI Agency
WINNIPEG - So, how hot are Winnipeg Jets tickets for the teamís inaugural season in the resellerís market? Sizzling hot.
Try $3,280 for a lower-deck seat for the home opener against the Montreal Canadiens on the popular ticket reseller site Stubhub.com. And yes, thatís for one seat in the 100-level.
A pair of these puppies for the opening game will run you $6,560. Ouch. The cheapest ticket on StubHub for that game is $844 in the upper decks. Yes, one ticket.
Ticket prices for Jets home games drop off markedly after that.
But even the priciest ticket for the second home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 17 is fetching $1,095. The lowest-priced ticket for that match-up ó which could feature superstar Sidney Crosby if heís recovered from concussion symptoms by then ó is $282.
If you donít already have a line on tickets, youíre going to pay through the nose if you want to see the Jets this year, no matter who the opposing team is.
For example, what may be considered a ho-hum match-up against the Florida Panthers could cost you almost $500 per ticket on the resale market.
Tickets for that game on StubHub range from $150 to $495.
Shows you how hot this market is for NHL hockey, at least this year anyway.
Winnipegís final regular season game April 7 against the Tampa Bay Lightning could cost you as much as $895.
And if former Jets superstar Teemu Selanne re-signs with the Anaheim Ducks, you can witness his return to Winnipeg by picking a lower-deck seat from resellers for $895.
How does all of this compare with other teams?
Resale tickets in markets like Montreal and Toronto are pretty pricey even without the novelty of having a new team in their town. A top ticket for Montrealís home opener Oct. 13 against Calgary on the resale market would cost you $500.
In Toronto, their home opener against the Habs is going for a staggering $1,143 on resale.
In Edmonton, a lower-deck ticket on the resale market for the Oilers home opener is $399.
So that gives you some perspective on just how hot this ticket market is.
Kijiji, the popular free classified site, is littered with desperate Jets fans begging for tickets, some offering $150 to $200 for individual tickets to any game.
So, is all of this legal? Nope. Itís against the law in Manitoba to resell event tickets for more than the face value of the ticket, including online.
So how do they get away with it?
Well, if there is no complaint-driven police investigation, no one gets caught. True North Sports and Entertainment spokesman Scott Brown confirmed that if you sell a ticket online for more than face value youíre technically breaking the law. But at this point, it doesnít appear anybody is prepared to do anything about it.
ďAt this point, we have not formally approached the WPS, nor do we have any immediate plans to do so,Ē said Brown by e-mail.
Personally, I donít have a problem with the ticket resale market. Itís basically online scalping.
If someone wants to pay $3,280 for a ticket to the Jets opening game, so be it. If thatís what the market bears, then thatís the ticket price.
This hyper exuberance for tickets wonít last much past the first year anyway. A Winnipeg Jets ticket will always be a very hot commodity and there will always be a robust resellers market for it. But it wonít be $3,280 for a home opener. It will be above face value. But so what? If it helps maintain scarcity for Jets tickets, which is necessary to keep NHL hockey going in this city, thatís a good thing.
One thing is for sure, anyone who thought Winnipeg might have trouble selling expensive NHL tickets was dead wrong.
The 14-minute sellout and this red-hot resellers market is proof of that.