Ticketmaster Says It Stands For “True Fan-Friendly Competition”

gswticketmasterOver the weekend, StubHub filed a lawsuit against Ticketmaster and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, alleging that the team and the ticket company are forcing Warriors season-ticket subscribers to use Ticketmaster if they want to resell their seats to anyone. Ticketmaster is now defending itself and says that it is the one that’s on the side of sports fans.

“We are disappointed that StubHub has filed a baseless lawsuit that asks the courts to help prop up its business against true fan-friendly competition,” reads the statement from Ticketmaster about the StubHub lawsuit. “NBA teams like the Golden State Warriors have implemented ticket exchanges powered by Ticketmaster because they want ticket resale to be a secure experience, not an opportunity for scalping and fraud. The exchanges are growing in popularity because Ticketmaster and its partners have worked hard to make ticket resale much safer and more transparent, uniquely serving true fans. Ticketmaster does not force any customer to resell tickets on any particular platform and will vigorously defend these specious charges.”

Pay attention to the wording of that last sentence. “Ticketmaster does not force…” You’ll note that it doesn’t say anything in defense of the Warriors, who have allegedly threatened to take away postseason ticket offers and cancel future season ticket plans for fans who use StubHub to resell their tickets. This doesn’t mean that the allegations against the Warriors are true, but it is curious that Ticketmaster omits the team from this portion of its declaration.

As for Ticketmaster’s supposedly “fan-friendly” image of its arrangement with the Warriors, the folks at Fan Freedom don’t exactly see it this way.

“The Golden State Warriors are coercing season ticket holders, with the threat of ticket cancellations, to resell tickets exclusively on Ticketmaster’s NBATickets.com,” says Executive Director Chris Grimm in a statement. “NBATickets.com charges ticket buyers a 33% higher service fee than competing platforms and allows teams to set a hidden price floor, artificially inflating ticket prices.”

In its complaint [PDF], StubHub said that, in spite of the fact that the Warriors have been consistently selling out home games, the site’s inventory of secondary-market Warriors tickets dropped 80% between 2013 and 2014.