High demand for Cubs playoffs tickets

September 25, 2008 4:54:19 PM PDT
They're the hottest tickets in town. Thousands of Cubs fans are fighting for scarce playoff game seats. But now you can buy them online -- if you're willing to pay the price. It was a long shot, but thousands of fans registered on the Chicago Cubs website for a lottery to buy tickets to the playoffs. This week, most fans received an e-mail saying they were not selected. Instead, the website refers fans to StubHub, a company that matches sellers with buyers online.

"The demand is high. Sales have been strong all week," said Eric Gueller, StubHub.

Once shunned by baseball teams, now teams, including the Cubs, are very much involved in the secondary ticket market. Last year, Major League Baseball entered into an agreement with StubHub. Teams get a cut of the company's revenue, which is why you see StubHub all over the Cubs website, as well the Wrigley Field sign.

"If they want $500 on a ticket they should print it in on the face. Why pretend to be helping the public?" said Steve Buzil, Sit Close Tickets.

Ticket broker Steve Buzil and others say the problem with StubHub is its prices are inflated. Bleacher seats for the first Cubs playoff games are listed at $400. Some of the best seats are well over one $1,000.

"A false market place is making it tougher to buy tickets in the marketplace for us as well," said Buzil. "We don't control prices. It's a free marketplace."

Tickets are tougher to get this year because the Cubs are releasing fewer first round tickets to the public than last year. The Cubs organization says there is more demand from Major League Baseball and sponsors.

While many fans can only afford to watch the games from home, brokers say playoff prices will go down closer to game day.


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