The Cubs Are Taking on Professional Scalpers

A number of season ticket spots are going to open up after the Cubs yesterday gave a bunch of season ticket holders the boot. Why? The Cubs had identified them as scalpers.

The Cubs sent those (former) season ticket holders, together comprising almost 1,000 seats, a letter explaining the decision, which put things as delicately as possible.

“After careful consideration,” the letter states, per Crain’s Chicago, “we regret to inform you we have decided not to renew the license for your account. As a result, you will not be offered the opportunity to purchase season tickets for the 2013 season.”

Further, the letter explains, “The Chicago Cubs are dedicated to ensuring Cubs games and other events at Wrigley Field remain available to as many fans as possible who are interested in enjoyable and memorable experiences. Your season ticket location will be reallocated and made available to fans at the top of our Season Ticket Waiting List.”

In other words: you aren’t buying season tickets to try and enjoy the game, so you don’t get them anymore.

The aggrieved can try and challenge the Cubs’ decision, but season tickets are a license, granted upon certain conditions, and they can be revoked by the Cubs if you don’t follow the rules. Teams have always frowned on folks making money off of the team’s tickets (because, hey, that’s money the team could be making if they play their cards right), so a crackdown on big-time scalpers is understandable.

Don’t worry about yourself: the Cubs aren’t targeting folks who re-sell tickets to games they can’t go to, even if they sell most of their tickets. Jon Greenberg quotes a Cubs source who says, “This is about the guy in California with 40 tickets.”

If you’re cynical, you’d note that the timing of this mass ouster is interesting given the Cubs’ decision to move to dynamic pricing throughout the ballpark (i.e., as individual tickets for certain seats and games grow scarce throughout the season, the Cubs will up the price). They probably don’t want to be competing with professional scalpers.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

25 responses to “The Cubs Are Taking on Professional Scalpers”

  1. hansman1982

    Good for the Cubs.

  2. Leo L

    That is awesome. My lsit number a couple of weeks ago was about 72,000. which dropped 10000 for the year before. Brett often talked abotu he benfits of losing 100 games. i was hoping another would be a big drop in hte the waiting list but this is better.

  3. Spencer

    I’m moving on up!

  4. JoeyCollins

    Sweet. Pretty sure my dad was in the 5-6K range on the list hope this gets him a lot closer. Leo i had the same thought hoping that a couple lean years would move dad up the list quickly just in time to see the benefits.

  5. BD

    I am #99,175 on the waiting list. I don’t think I’ll get there yet. :(

  6. Dave

    Just checked, I’m now 66,301. I should be in position to move back to Chicago in a couple years, hoping for many deaths and bankruptcies causing people to fall off the list about the time the team gets good.

  7. cubzforlife

    I will gladly sell two seats for the upcoming season below face value. This includes full access to playoff games if a miracle occurs. Great seats five rows up from main aisle third base side. Cost is 7700.00 will sell for 7200.00 All 81 games.

    1. Jim L.

      You just made the list buddy.

    2. terencemann

      Are there any financing options? :)

  8. Jim Gillmeister

    Great news! My wife and I got our season’s tickets for the 1st time this past season. RF Upper deck outfield. I’m looking forward to improving our seats. Its about time that fans are being given consideration

  9. Juan

    Im up for a shot this year at season tickets i will have to pass it up though.

  10. Pat

    The secondary market is the reason so many tickets are sold when they first go on sale. People are afraid that if they don’t buy tickets right away they will have to pay more than face to the scalpers. I get that they are attempting to create that same sense of urgency with the pseudo dynamic pricing, but getting rid of the scalpers would actually have a negative effect.

  11. Drew

    Here is how I have progressed over the years. . . .
    18826 as of 11/25/09
    16201 as of 10/12/10
    16201 as pf 05/10/11
    11418 as of 01/16/12
    5428 as of 10/25/12

    Soon, I hope soon.
    But, I have to admit, living in SW Michigan, with a full time job and 3 kids, I would NOT be able to go to all the games. I am one who would be in a position to sell the games I cannot attend. Anyone want to go in with me when I get to the top of the list? LOL!

    Juan – What happens when you’re name is selected and you pass?

    1. Pat

      Last year they let people who were only offered bleachers pass and retain their place in line for other seats. I believe that people who passed on grandstand tickets were moved to the back of the line.

  12. WGNstatic

    As a complete aside, I just read on MLBtraderumors that Otuni, the HS Japanese pitcher that MLB teams are drooling over, was drafted in the NPB draft. Per the agreement between MLB and NPB, the Ham Fighters (who drafted him) have exclusive negotiating rights until April. So, no MLB team can negotiate with him until then.

    That would seem to further my thinking that he might just wait to sign until July when the new signing period begins for international free agents. This can only be good news if you are of the belief that the Cubs should be in on this guy. Time will tell.

    1. Chris

      I was thinking/hoping the same thing. The wild card in all of this is how much do the Dodgers, or any other team, like this kid? While not great, the penalties for exceeding the international budget are much easier to absorb than the penalties are in the draft. But if one of these teams loves him enough to go over budget a great deal, I think it would be foolish for the Cubs to try and follow suit. Given they’re probably going to be toward the top of available budget dollars for the next couple years, the penalties would be much more impactful to them than the Dodgers, in theory. When you’ve got more money to spend, capping the amount you can spend on one given player takes them out of other potentially impactful international signings. They’d have to use the quantity over quality approach. If this kid is worth that, in their estimations, it still might be the right thing to do. But I think they’ll be cautious. And my hope this delay in his ability to sign with an ML team will allow the Cubs to get into the conversation more than they have been to this point.

  13. Jeff

    Good for the Cubs organization for doing this.

    Also, people on the wait list will be moving up a slot since I’m going to let my bleacher combo plan expire. I’ve enjoyed being a season ticket holder but I live way too far away to enjoy them anymore.

    Go Cubs Go!

  14. scorecardpaul

    good news for all of us waiting I’m 17312.

  15. Serious Cubs Fan

    How exactly do they determine whose scalping? Do they just look at the address of the owner of the tickets? I’m happy they did this because I moved up on the list

    1. Kyle

      The people in question apparently lived in California, had 15-20 tickets each, and all of them were sold on stubhub.

  16. Serious Cubs Fan

    I figure I’m 20 now and by the time I’m 50 I’ll be up for season tickets, and hopefully I’ll have paid off all my student loans and I’ll have some money

  17. Jason

    49063 – not bad, I think I started off around 70,000 or so when I signed up. I’m hoping they’ll be available when I retire, that would be perfect timing.

  18. Curt

    Ironic is it not that instead of paying a scalper for tickets now you can pay the cubs to scalp you at least the money goes to the team.

  19. CUBSGUYBRI

    Signed up in 2005 im at #2393 should be soon!