Official: Investigators target NFL over ticket resale

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is chased out of the pocket by New England Patriots defenders during the first half the NFL football AFC Championship game between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York authorities are investigating whether the NFL is engaging in anti-competitive practices on its ticket-selling website, an official said Thursday.

The investigation is part of a larger probe by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman into high event ticket pricing.

Schneiderman released a report Thursday that criticizes “price floors” for game tickets, particularly by sports leagues including the NFL.

The report said many NFL teams encourage or even require ticket holders to use Ticketmaster’s NFL Ticket Exchange platform, where the seller is prohibited from cutting the price below face value. That prevents lower prices when demand drops, making it harder for season ticket holders to sell their tickets late in a season when their team is playing poorly.

An official with knowledge of the investigation said Schneiderman’s office is investigating and wants the price floor removed. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

An NFL spokesman said the NFL Ticket Exchange is just one of many options for ticket holders to buy or sell tickets.

“The NFL does not require them to use the Ticket Exchange,” Brian McCarthy said. “The NFL imposes no restrictions whatsoever on any fan’s ability to buy or resell tickets on other secondary ticketing sites or to do so at any price they choose. ”

The report cited an example where the restrictions keep poorer fans from attending any games.

“Near the end of an unsuccessful baseball season, the tickets to watch a team not destined for the playoffs may go down sharply, allowing fans who otherwise might not be able to afford to see a match to buy tickets for far less money,” it said.

While ticket holders can sell elsewhere, they are pushed toward the official ticket exchange platform. The report said it “is frequently billed as the official resale site and the only ‘safe’ place to buy secondary NFL tickets.”

The report also said that the New York Yankees have also put in place a price floor.

The Yankees did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s