Meet Toronto’s ticket scalpers: An undying breed against all odds | Toronto Star

Some teams and markets have clamped down on these season seat monopolists. In 2015, StubHub sued the Golden State Warriors for mandating all resale be done through its Ticketmaster platform. Other teams have required season seat holders live in the state or province of their team, forcing license owners to return their tickets or launch futile lawsuits.

The Blue Jays recently told season ticket holders they should expect a 17 per cent hike in prices for 2018. In the past, Toronto’s sports franchises have said price hikes were aimed at biting into broker-scalper profits.

MLSE has identified markers — ranging from credit card numbers to purchase addresses or ticket postage — that alert them when licence holders control dozens of tickets.

They’re also considering options to combat the sometimes hundreds of fraudulent tickets sold to ignorant buyers from independent sellers.

Still, MLSE must provide early access at a discounted rate to all of its season seat holders for events at the Air Canada Centre, according to Pistore.

That can mean ticket brokers get their hands on as many as 50 per cent of all lower-bowl seats before they even hit the presale market, according to one Toronto broker.

MLSE began operating on a dynamic pricing scheme in the early 2010s. Weather, a recent trade, opponent, a do-or-die game, and a win streak can raise or lower prices — even on the day of a game.

At the end of the 2016-2017 season when the Leafs found out their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets was a win-and-you’re-in scenario, they jacked up the prices for the game, according to Pistore.

Some professional sports teams now price their tickets as far as a seat-to-seat basis, making aisle options more expensive than three or four chairs in.

“We haven’t gone that granular yet. There are teams that, if you have 24 rows in each section, they have 24 prices and if you have 24 rows and two aisles they have a multiple of those 24 prices,” Pistore said.

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Meet Toronto’s ticket scalpers: An undying breed against all odds | Toronto Star.