I recently became aware of a new website that enables you to buy and sell unused season tickets for particular Spurs’ games. This service is provided by Stub Hub, an Ebay subsidiary that is endorsed by the club itself.
My first thought was this was a great idea. I am a member but don’t have a season ticket and often find I have trouble getting tickets to games, so I eagerly searched for tickets. My excitement quickly dissipated as I saw the prices the tickets were being offered for.
The concept of the site is a very good one. Season ticket holders are often not able to make every game. Why not give other Spurs fans, not lucky enough to have a season ticket, the opportunity to attend those games? The season ticket holder gets their money back, the buyer gets to attend a game they wouldn’t otherwise and the atmosphere at White Hart Lane is improved as empty seats on match day are reduced. Everyone’s a winner.
Where this falls down is the prices. The key issue is that the site does not enforce a limit on the amount the seller can ask for.
As of now one match that is very popular, for obvious reasons, is our home game against Arsenal. The tickets for this game sell out very quickly. When they became available this week, I went to the website immediately and had to wait in a queue for 40 minutes just to get through to search for some. By then most tickets had gone and I only managed to purchase a single seat, so will be attending on my own. I’m the lucky one, most fans won’t have a seat at all.
Stub Hub currently advertises 107 tickets for the game (as of 25/1/2014 at 11 am). The most expensive of these is an eye watering £661.26, the cheapest £155.26. The vast majority are well over £200 with the median about £340, roughly four times the face value. This is just legalised ticket touting.
How the club can endorse such a scheme depresses me, but I suppose in the modern era of Premier League football we have become used to the ordinary fan being seen as a cash cow. How Spurs season ticket holders can choose to profiteer from their fellow fans beggars belief.
This service is a massive missed opportunity. The same website but with a cap of say 25% on top of face value would add great value to many supporters. Our rivals Chelsea, not known for their altruism or community spirit, have a similar site at Viagogo. Their site limits the price to face value. How is it Abramovich has it right and we have it so wrong?
There are already some great blog articles about Stub Hub and a petition against it: