Darren Rovell on short selling Super Bowl tickets:
In order to “short” the market, a broker typically lists tickets in a generic section of the stadium and doesn’t disclose exactly where the seats are until the Wednesday before the game, when sites such as StubHub and Vivid Seats require the brokers to choose exact seat locations or cancel the sale.
The idea for the brokers is to take money from ticket buyers when the tickets are at a higher price after the conference title games, then actually buy the tickets days later as the prices start to come down. The ease of the scheme caused more and more brokers to get in the game.
Wait, what? This is a thing? People/brokers sell tickets they don’t even have, and this is perfectly legal? This is pretty screwed up. No wonder so many people thought they had tickets but didn’t. This undoubtedly proves what an absolute scam ticket brokering is.
Has it always been this way? Has the ability for any person to buy/sell tickets online made brokers have to resort to this? Either way it is totally insane that people do this. Obviously there must be some fine print somewhere that keeps them from getting sued when they don’t deliver, but this is so shady.
How much do brokers really help fans? Do they drive up prices, or give people a chance to get tickets who wouldn’t otherwise? Or both? It is somewhat convenient it would seem, but with higher prices it seems like maybe that isn’t as useful. So what is the long term scenario?
Non-transferrable tickets are starting to become a thing, and there is surely a market for them especially at reduced price. It is something comparable to cheaper airfare/hotels where a cheaper price can be had if the plans cannot be canceled. This would essentially allow brokers to have to pay a premium just to get their hands on tickets, and perhaps give the general public a better chance to pay a reasonable price. Especially with major, major sporting events, what percentage of tickets are purchased just flip for a profit? The system always seemed broken. But with the revelation of short selling it seems downright trashed.