So how much of a premium would you pay to see the Cubs? This week, you’ve got a chance jump the line on single game ticket if you are willing to pony up.
Here is how the program works (as described in the New York Times, Feb 15, Cubs Open Ticket Line Early for Fans Willing to Pay Extra):
But the Cubs are adding a twist this year. On Monday, fans will be able to buy tickets to every Cubs home game, but at a premium of 20 percent over the face value, or 15 percent if they pay with a MasterCard. The MasterCard First Chance Presale will last until Thursday and include an undisclosed percentage of the pool of the Cubs’ single-game tickets. On Friday, any remaining tickets will be sold at face value (with the usual assortment of fees).
As noted in the Times, other teams have allowed, say, season ticket holders to purchase additional single game tickets ahead of public sales but what is special about this promotion is that it is open to everyone and it involves a premium price.
So who will sign up for this? Here is what the Cubs say:
The Cubs said they introduced the presale for fans with specific dates in mind — like a game on someone’s birthday. They figure fans will pay the premium for the assurance of being able to attend the game they want and to avoid potentially paying more from ticket resellers like StubHub. “We believe there are fans who will pay extra, just like they’ll pay for a Fast Pass at the amusement park,” said Wally Hayward, the Cubs’ chief marketing officer. He said he was unaware of another team that holds a similar sale. “There’s a tremendous demand for Cubs tickets, especially from people coming from out of town, when there are games you must have.”
I, however, suspect that this will be a windfall for ticket brokers. It seems reasonable that there will be basically no tickets left for games against, say, the Cardinals at the end of this week. As far as I can tell, there is no limit on the number of tickets an individual can buy under this scheme. A 20% premium is $10 on a $50 and brokers can get more than that for a hot game. It seems that the Cubs have done little but claim a cut from scalpers.