So the New England Patriots are now suing online ticket reseller StubHub saying that allowing fans to resell its tickets on its site for above face value is against the state anti-scalping laws and against team policy. The Patriots are also suing 50 other Patriots fans who, they say, sold their tickets on StubHub for a markup. There are a couple things to consider here. Does Massachusetts state law apply to transactions that take place over the Internet, even if the transaction might not be taking place in the state?
Although buying season tickets clearly comes with a contract that says that you can't resell in most cases, it should be interesting to see this battle, particularly as the resale market continues to grow (it's at least a $4 billion annual business) and as teams sign more relationships with official resale partners. This season, the New York Yankees started to revoke season tickets from those who sold their tickets on StubHub and on eBay. The New York Times' sports business reporter Richard Sandomir reported in September that the Yankees were thinking about starting their own secondary ticket marketplace. The Patriots, for what it's worth, have a marketing deal with Ticketmaster.
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