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doogiec
04-10-2003, 12:46 PM
Couch Sun Times Article (http://www.suntimes.com/output/couch/cst-spt-greg10.html)

Very interesting article on the Cubs ticket sales practices.

"Paid attendance" as reported by MLB teams is actually tickets sold by the box office. By dumping all of these tickets on brokers, the Cubs pad their attendance figures. And the same fans who are constantly bragging about Cubs attendance figures are getting screwed. And the brokers who deal in these tickets still make money even if they eventually only sell one third of the tickets.

cheeses_h_rice
04-10-2003, 12:54 PM
Wow, this is really scummy. I had no idea that the Cubs were this deceptive about their brokering connection:

It's $1,500 for a ticket that has $45 printed on it. It's $155 for a ticket that says $30. But what can you do? Wrigley Field Premium (a ticket broker) has a magical supply of tickets you can't get at the Cubs ticket office.

''We're a broker,'' the man at Premium said. ''We're not related to the Cubs ticket office.''

Just what dirtbag owns Wrigley Field Premium? Who has jacked up these prices by, what, 3,000 percent? Who is sticking it to Cubs fans?

It is the Cubs themselves. They own Premium.

The Cubs are trying to cheat their own fans.

They are doing it by pushing numbers from one set of books to another, playing a shell game with your trust. Where is it now? Under Premium's name? Under the Cubs'? Under the name of the Cubs' owner, Tribune Co.?

Last year, the Cubs produced a book called Wrigley Field. A Celebration of the Friendly Confines. In it, Cubs ticket manager Frank Maloney talked about ticket brokers:

''It's like the black market in World War II. It depletes the market. They drain the supply [of tickets]. They force the poor guy from Keokuk, Iowa, to come here and. ...'' It goes on.

But it turns out that while the Cubs were publicly lamenting the scourge of brokers, they were hatching their own plan.

voodoochile
04-10-2003, 12:55 PM
This is a scam, but it is great marketing for the flubbies. They can point at the number of sell outs and the high price that brokers sell their tickets at and it makes tickets at Wrigley look like an even hotter commodity. Drives up the prices and drives up the demand.

Still, nice to see someone blowing the cover off of their scam. Greg Couch is alright in my book. Nice to see someone writing about the flubbies with a little bite.

Behind the lovable loser mask...

:reinsy
"Scalping their own tickets? Those magnificent bastards! Now if you worthless serfs... er... fans would come out to my beautifully redone ballpark, I could do something similar... $1500 a seat? I'm drooling right now..."

Viva Magglio
04-10-2003, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by doogiec
Couch Sun Times Article (http://www.suntimes.com/output/couch/cst-spt-greg10.html)

Very interesting article on the Cubs ticket sales practices.

"Paid attendance" as reported by MLB teams is actually tickets sold by the box office. By dumping all of these tickets on brokers, the Cubs pad their attendance figures. And the same fans who are constantly bragging about Cubs attendance figures are getting screwed. And the brokers who deal in these tickets still make money even if they eventually only sell one third of the tickets.

An ethical and impartial commissioner would not allow this.

:tool
Are you kidding?

34 Inch Stick
04-10-2003, 01:25 PM
I have box seats for the Cubs-Yankees series (family is Cub fans). I called up a ticket broker to find out what I could get. He said the prices were exaggerated and people were not paying that much. Then when I told him where the seats were he offered $500 a piece. If I can get away with it I will not be watching that game from the comfort of my own home with a fat wallet to cushion my fat as.

thecell
04-10-2003, 01:26 PM
Another evil regime...The Tribune Co

WinningUgly!
04-10-2003, 01:35 PM
I'm printing this out & putting it up everywhere. :angry:

Dan H
04-10-2003, 02:19 PM
Hypocrisy. Pure and simple. And this comes from part of the baseball establishment that demands blind loyalty from its fans. It just shows that loyalty has become a one-way street. Or maybe it always been that way.

Many bash Sox fans for boycotting after getting fed up. Well, I think the boycott is the only real power we have. It would be nice to see thin crowds show for these "premium" games.

T Dog
04-10-2003, 03:55 PM
So, if I buy two $45 tickets for $3,000 to see a game with a friend, and my friend is suddenly called away on business before the game, could I be arrested for selling his ticket for $50?

Juan Pizarro
04-10-2003, 05:23 PM
Really puts the lie to their "warm and fuzzy" image, doesn't it?

TornLabrum
04-10-2003, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by T Dog
So, if I buy two $45 tickets for $3,000 to see a game with a friend, and my friend is suddenly called away on business before the game, could I be arrested for selling his ticket for $50? x

Ironically, yes.

34rancher
04-10-2003, 09:50 PM
Correct me if I am wrong (which is most of the time). Doesn't MLB have a rule wher the home team has to share part of the gate receipt with the visiting team as part of collevtive bargaining agreement (for arguements sake, let's say 10%)? If "Premier" is selling tixs for 1500, which they really bought for 45, then then visiting team lost $145 per ticket that they rightfully should have. Also, if the Trib is using any kind of vreative accounting, they are probably writing off the "returned tickets" somewhere as a loss, at which point they are abusing the IRS. Would the irony of the situation be that the Trib could be investigated for this fraud? Isn't this also collusion? Or does MLB have an exemption for that too?

LuvSox
04-10-2003, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by ˇViva Mágglio!
An ethical and impartial commissioner would not allow this.



But......... baseball hasn't seen one in years.

Daver
04-10-2003, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by 34rancher
Correct me if I am wrong (which is most of the time). Doesn't MLB have a rule wher the home team has to share part of the gate receipt with the visiting team as part of collevtive bargaining agreement (for arguements sake, let's say 10%)? If "Premier" is selling tixs for 1500, which they really bought for 45, then then visiting team lost $145 per ticket that they rightfully should have. Also, if the Trib is using any kind of vreative accounting, they are probably writing off the "returned tickets" somewhere as a loss, at which point they are abusing the IRS. Would the irony of the situation be that the Trib could be investigated for this fraud? Isn't this also collusion? Or does MLB have an exemption for that too?

The visiting team is only guaranteed face value.

The Tribune is absolved from any IRS inquiry,the corporation that is selling the tickets might come under fire,but tying that corporation to the Tribune would be a CPA's nightmare.

The one magical thing about a franchise owners books is that they will never show the actual numbers that the franchise is bringing in.

MisterB
04-10-2003, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by 34rancher
Correct me if I am wrong (which is most of the time). Doesn't MLB have a rule wher the home team has to share part of the gate receipt with the visiting team as part of collevtive bargaining agreement (for arguements sake, let's say 10%)? If "Premier" is selling tixs for 1500, which they really bought for 45, then then visiting team lost $145 per ticket that they rightfully should have. Also, if the Trib is using any kind of vreative accounting, they are probably writing off the "returned tickets" somewhere as a loss, at which point they are abusing the IRS. Would the irony of the situation be that the Trib could be investigated for this fraud? Isn't this also collusion? Or does MLB have an exemption for that too?

I believe that as of the '95 CBA, teams no longer share any gate reciepts. It was dropped in favor of the 'Luxury Tax' on team payrolls. (which did nothing but throw baseball's economics even further out of whack.)

PaleHoseGeorge
04-10-2003, 10:00 PM
Originally posted by 34rancher
Correct me if I am wrong (which is most of the time). Doesn't MLB have a rule wher the home team has to share part of the gate receipt with the visiting team as part of collevtive bargaining agreement (for arguements sake, let's say 10%)? If "Premier" is selling tixs for 1500, which they really bought for 45, then then visiting team lost $145 per ticket that they rightfully should have. Also, if the Trib is using any kind of vreative accounting, they are probably writing off the "returned tickets" somewhere as a loss, at which point they are abusing the IRS. Would the irony of the situation be that the Trib could be investigated for this fraud? Isn't this also collusion? Or does MLB have an exemption for that too?

These are great questions. I hope somebody with a legal background can offer an authorative answer.

Fraud committed by one MLB team against another isn't likely to get a hearing outside the commissioner's office, so while other teams will complain about the Cubune's deception, I doubt a lawsuit would ever occur.

MLB's anti-trust exemption has been diluted of late, but I'm not sure if tax fraud against the U.S. Government was ever covered by the exemption. If we're talking serious money (and it seems we are), I'm betting the IRS would be interested in seeing the Cubune auditors' books.

34rancher
04-10-2003, 10:13 PM
Originally posted by MisterB
I believe that as of the '95 CBA, teams no longer share any gate reciepts. It was dropped in favor of the 'Luxury Tax' on team payrolls. (which did nothing but throw baseball's economics even further out of whack.)
Then this must be price fixing at the absolute least.

MisterB
04-10-2003, 10:35 PM
Originally posted by MisterB
I believe that as of the '95 CBA, teams no longer share any gate reciepts. It was dropped in favor of the 'Luxury Tax' on team payrolls. (which did nothing but throw baseball's economics even further out of whack.)

A correction: Before the '97 CBA, the AL split gate reciepts 80/20 with visiting teams, and in the NL it was $.42 from each ticket sold. That was changed to a contribution of 20% of each teams' local revenue (gate, broadcast, etc.) into a pool of which 75% is divided equally among all teams and the other 25% is given only to those with below-average revenues. This is in addition to the payroll tax. Sorry for any confusion.

34rancher
04-10-2003, 11:14 PM
Originally posted by MisterB
A correction: Before the '97 CBA, the AL split gate reciepts 80/20 with visiting teams, and in the NL it was $.42 from each ticket sold. That was changed to a contribution of 20% of each teams' local revenue (gate, broadcast, etc.) into a pool of which 75% is divided equally among all teams and the other 25% is given only to those with below-average revenues. This is in addition to the payroll tax. Sorry for any confusion.
So in this situation, the Tirbune company has created an ugly stepsister to get fat off of her labor to hide the money away from the collective bargaining agreement.