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Becoming a Ticket Broker Doesn’t Work for Fan

Jonathan Zairi wanted to make some extra cash so the 21-year-old college student bought two Miami Heat season tickets right after Chris Bosh signed with the team.

(L-R) Chris Bosh #1, Dwyane Wade #3, and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat are introduced at the HEAT Summer of 2010 Welcome Event at AmericanAirlines Arena on July 9, 2010 in Miami, Florida.
Gustavo Caballero | WireImage | Getty Images
(L-R) Chris Bosh #1, Dwyane Wade #3, and LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat are introduced at the HEAT Summer of 2010 Welcome Event at AmericanAirlines Arena on July 9, 2010 in Miami, Florida.

Zairi was excited when LeBron James came soon after, as he thought it was a sure bet that he’d make big money.

“I thought it was a no-brainer, that I’d make at least $10,000,” said Zairi, who at the time lived on the west coast and had no intention of going to a single game. “People were telling me to quit my job I was going to make so much money, but I just wanted to play humble.”

But as the season went on, Zairi realized that not only would he not be making money, he’d likely lose on his two $100 per game tickets.

“It’s crazy,” Zairi said. “Because everybody thought they were so hot and they’re really not. I couldn’t sell tickets to the Utah Jazz game, no one would even pay me $80 each for my Orlando Magic tickets. People will go but they want to pay peanuts.”

Zairi says the problem is that what the team sets as face value is not necessarily what fans can get for those tickets on the secondary market.

The Heat haven’t done as well as was expected of them, having lost 22 games so far. But Zairi says the Miami market is soft in general.

“If it were about winning and losing, then why couldn’t a sell my ticket for the third game of the year?” Zairi said.

Zairi thought that, at the very least, the ticket sales would pay for his annual crazy trip where he travels to every game of the NBA Finals. “That costs $6,000,” Zairi said. “I’ve lost $2,200 so far. And I have no chance of making that money back unless the Heat make the Finals.”

Zairi’s tickets for next season went up $10 each. He’s not doing it again, but it doesn’t matter to the Heat, since they've apparently found someone to take his seats. The team announced last week that they already sold out season tickets for next year.

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