MLS All-Star Game: Aftermarket Ticket Sales

Even in soccer mad Portland, Seattle and Toronto, there is rarely a big market for MLS aftermarket tickets.  At most stadiums, plenty of tickets are available on game day or offered through heavily discounted group sales.  Plenty of teams partner with sponsors or community groups to offer free or heavily reduced ticket prices in order to bring fans out to the stadium.  Even “big” events such as MLS Cup matches or All-Star games typically don’t provide subtantial aftermarket opportunities for ticket holders.

Yet when you combine the MLS All-Stars with Manchester United, New York City and “smallish” Red Bull Arena you get a rare opportunity for MLS ticket holders to explore after market ticket sales.  This week the All-Star Game was the lead event on the Stub Hub website.  As of this writing, there were 248 tickets available on the website, almost 1,000 less than Sunday and 2,000 less than last week. Prices on the site range from $194 to over one thousand dollars per seat.  While many were available in groups of 2-4, there were blocks in excess of 8 tickets also available (suggesting brokers looking to unload seats).

Perhaps most remarkable is the significant markups earned for these seats.  Tickets listed at $150 face value were selling well in excess of $300 per seat.  While this suggests a significant profit for the seller, note that StubHub takes a significant percentage from each sale.  A $300 seat will generate approximately $50 in commission for the site.  StubHub facilitiates the sale of the tickets,  mails them (or e-mails them) to the purchaser and collects a tidy sum.

World Football Challenge tickets are also available through StubHub, with special focus on Barcelona.  Tickets for Barca are significantly less expensive than those for the ASG.  Red Bulls tickets also are readily available on the site, but many are selling for less than face value.