Nationals

MLB, StubHub renew secondary ticket market deal

MLB, StubHub renew secondary ticket market deal

CHICAGO (AP) Major League Baseball Advanced Media and StubHub.com announced a new five-year deal Monday that continues the website's role as the official secondary ticket market for the sport while eliminating the cheap listings that had become an eyesore for some clubs.

The minimum price for baseball tickets on StubHub in 2013 will be $6, a far more appealing number for the league after some seats were listed for pocket change during the first five-year deal that expired after this past season.

The $6 ticket includes commissions and the delivery fee for the website, which previously charged customers at least $10.40 after they selected their seats.

``The bottom line is that we felt like for both our fans and for our teams there was an optics issue,'' StubHub spokesman Glenn Lehrman said. ``In other words, there was a lot of chatter about .99 tickets, cheap tickets, and the reality is that's not what the ticket was selling for.''

StubHub calls including the fees in the ticket listing an ``all-in pricing model,'' and Lehrman said the San Francisco-based company has been testing the system on the website all year long, mostly with Major League Soccer games. The plan is to implement the new format across the site by the end of 2013.

Bob Bowman, the CEO of MLBAM, the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, praised StubHub for working with them to address their concerns. But the changes weren't enough for the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Chicago Cubs, three teams that opted out of the deal.

``We're continuing to explore our options in the secondary ticket market,'' said Julian Green, the vice president for communication and community affairs with the Cubs.

The Yankees and Angels are working with Ticketmaster on a new arrangement, according to a person familiar with the situation, and will announce their plan in a few weeks. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no official announcement has been made.

Fans will still be able to purchase tickets for the three missing teams on StubHub. The biggest difference involves the sellers, who will have to type in the ticket information and use a different way to get the ticket to the buyer for the home games of the Yankees, Cubs and Angels.

Bowman said he thinks the ticket integration for the teams covered by the deal is good for fans, but the decision by the three teams that opted out gives them a chance to take a look at other models for the secondary ticket market.

``They are doing what they think is in their best interests and what's in their fans' best interest and it's our job to work with them and get them to a good spot,'' he told the AP in a phone interview.

Bowman also said some teams are going to experiment with the blackout window before games. Most teams stop ticket sales on the site two hours before the game, and a handful of clubs are going to experiment with a six-hour period next year.

StubHub struck one of its first major sports deals with the Seattle Mariners in 2001 and has separate partnership agreements with about half of the 30 major league teams, covering everything from signage to promotions. It became the ``Official Fan to Fan Ticket Marketplace'' for MLB.com in 2007.

``This partnership broke new ground when it was first introduced, and it has allowed us to greatly improve the StubHub MLB fan experience,'' StubHub President Chris Tsakalakis said in a release. ``The opportunity for StubHub to continue to partner with MLBAM is something we relish, especially as we look to continuously integrate new technology that will enhance the experience, particularly on mobile devices, for baseball fans.''

Under StubHub's new pricing model, customers will pay a $2.25 delivery fee per ticket up to $10. That's compared to a flat $5.40 delivery fee before. The service fee was lowered to $3 for tickets under $50, and is a percentage of the price above that number.

``Our original StubHub partnership provided a valuable service, giving fans a secure, simple and affordable solution for the secondary market, and this renewal reflects its successes in an ever-evolving space,'' Bowman said.

---

Jay Cohen can be reached athttp://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

Quick Links

How to entice Bryce Harper in to re-signing with the Nationals? With food, of course!

bens-chili-bowl-usat.jpg
AP Images

How to entice Bryce Harper in to re-signing with the Nationals? With food, of course!

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach… and if that leads us to Bryce Harper’s potential landing spot, then I present to you the yummiest reasons he should stay with the Washington Nationals.

In a video from TMZ, a paparazzi follows Harper to baggage claim and implores him for any hints toward where he is signing this offseason. The only true answer he got was that Harper likes a place called Steak 48 in Chicago. This surf-and-turf hot spot in the River North neighborhood of downtown Chicago has the audacity to serve “Maryland STYLE lump crab cakes.” Really, Bryce? Will the real thing convince you?!

On that note, let’s start off with the seafood we have to offer. This is the Mid-Atlantic, after all.

How can you work here April-September without eating local crabs in some form? I think that’s impossible. You can choose from hard shell or soft shell, but no shame in either game.

Live Chesapeake blue crabs can be bought at Captain White’s Seafood and other vendors on The Wharf off Maine Avenue. Otherwise, you can sit down and have them steamed for you at Quarterdeck, Ivy City Smokehouse, Bethesda Crab House or Captain Pell’s.

If Harper is more of a soft shell guy, all of those places also serve out-of-the-park crab cakes, but you can’t go wrong with Hank’s Oyster Bar, Old Ebbitt Grill, Chris’ Marketplace, or Clyde’s.

If the star really wants to dive in to local taste, he should eat Chesapeake Bay oysters from the largest estuary in America. My personal favorite selection is at Whaley’s (seafood tower on me, Bryce), but Rapphanock Oyster Bar, The Dabney, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Black’s Bar & Kitchen can’t be beat.

I find it hard to believe the team hasn't had an outing at The Salt Line, the lively seafood spot just a short throw from Nats Park where teammate Ryan Zimmerman is an investor and co-owner.

Now that we’ve satisfied Harper’s iron intake, let’s break down his protein. In order to keep the superstar here, I want to make sure he knows that D.C. cares about providing a well-rounded diet.

Barbecued meats in general around here are delectable. Sitting in juxtaposition between the north and south, D.C. restaurants bring a mash-up of styles of smoked and sauced meats. Favorites are Federalist Pig, Hill Country, Fat Pete’s and Hardy’s BBQ truck.

However, if Bryce Harper show he’s as invested in authentic Nationals fans as our season tickets are in him, he should really pick up a half-smoke, the district’s original recipe for a spicy, thicker pork and beef dog that’s aggressively seasoned and sometimes served with chili sauce.

Could you imagine Harper making his announcement to stay over a half-smoke at Ben’s Chili Bowl? I think even the panda statue would cry tears of joy.

Another hyper-local taste is mumbo sauce. While proven not originally from here, D.C. natives are enthusiastic about the special sauce. Yum’s is pretty well-known for carrying it.

Time for dessert! I think we can all agree that in the past 10 years, cupcakes have become iconic in the district with Georgetown Cupcakes, Baked & Wired and Sprinkles all having a home in Georgetown. To settle the debate, Baked & Wired is best. They are ranked #1 on Yelp if you don’t believe my own palette.

But what if it’s game night, you ask? D.C. has it’s hearty share of restaurants that are open even after extra innings. The Diner, Kramerbooks, Mandu, New Big Wong, Old Ebbitt Grill, Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, Amsterdam Falafelshop and Jumbo Slice are all here to keep you warm at night no matter what you’re craving post-victory. Need I go on?

Bryce reassured Nats fans and TMZ that he is “still a National right now.” Better eat these while you can, Bryce, or you’ll be sorry you didn't sign in one of the best food cities in the MLB.

Do you have any local food or restaurants you think will convince Bryce Harper to stay with the Washington Nationals this offseason? Send them to @NBCNationals or @rmhopmayer. Maybe we can throw together a friends-giving or holiday dinner for those that want him to stay our beloved Guest of Honor.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Josh Norman wants to play 'early Santa,' will give away Redskins tickets

Josh Norman wants to play 'early Santa,' will give away Redskins tickets

Josh Norman caused quite a stir with his comments Sunday about the atmosphere at FedEx Field, and the Redskins cornerback made it clear he plans to do his part in making sure the stadium is packed for Sunday's game against the Texans. 

Norman told reporters Thursday he's going to be giving away "40 or 50" free tickets for the Houston game, online and perhaps even in person.

"Yes, I will be giving out free tickets," he said. "I'll be doing it on my socials as well, I think I'll probably post tonight or something about it."

"Who knows, you may see me coming out and being an early Santa somewhere in the mall or something, just handing out tickets."

And if you are one of the lucky fans who gets a ticket from "Santa Norman," he has specific instructions on how you should behave at Sunday's game:

"Whoever get(s) them, we want them loud and just obnoxious. Just really obnoxious."

Norman joins several Redskins players who have promised to give away tickets to the Texans game.

It may be November, but the Christmas spirit is alive and well at Redskins Park. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS: