Sports Economy: Signs That Ticket Buyers Aren't There?

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In my forever continuing series of blogs on sports and the economy, I wanted to follow up on my hypothesis that NFL teams weren't necessarily getting hurt yet.

As you might remember, I looked at prices onthe secondary market for NFL tickets sold on eBay's StubHub. Because eight of 10 teams seemed to have an on-the-field causal link, I concluded that I didn't think teams were necessarily suffering yet.

But I did receive a couple notes from people who said that I should consider whether total volume of sales decreased. Not having that data, I couldn't do the math.

Well, eBayreported its earnings yesterdayand although its marketplace unit--which includes eBay's core site and StubHub--grew revenue by 4 percent, eBay's CFO said yesterday that the company saw a "significant slowdown" to StubHub" midway through the third quarter.

Now StubHub sells all kinds of tickets, so it's not necessarily sports, but it made me wonder whether I was looking for the wrong data when I was computing the economic effects on the sports world. After all, the Boston Globe noted that for Tuesday night's game against the Rays, ticket broker Ace Ticket actually dropped prices below face value.

"Without question everyone is feeling the pinch," said Jim Zissler, vice president of sales at Inside Sports & Entertainment Group, a provider of sports and entertainment ticket and travel packages. "We're still seeing a steady call for the ultra premium tickets and I don't think that will ever go away, but when the Red Sox playoff tickets are selling for below face value, it's pretty telling that the buyers just aren't out there."

Questions? Comments?