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A Hidden Cost of the NBA Lockout

Some fans were betting on reselling their tickets.

Even though season-ticket holders will get full refunds – plus interest — for any games missed due to the National Basketball Association’s lockout, those who planned to resell their seats still stand to lose hundreds of dollars.

Many fans sell a portion of their seats each year to help defray the hefty costs of the season plan, but with two weeks of games already canceled and no signs the labor dispute will be resolved, ticket holders stand to lose much more. This practice, once considered scalping, has been legitimized by professional sports, which even designate sites such as Ticketmaster and Stubhub as “official resellers” expressly for this purpose.

The average fan who bought season tickets for a major team could lose over $500 in unrealized profit on the sale of those tickets if they miss four home games, according to data compiled by the ticket aggregator site TiqIQ based on resale prices from Team Marketing Report. Ticket re-sales for Miami Heat/New York Knicks game on Oct. 2 were expected to sell for $244 on the resale market, according to SeatGeek.com.

Of course, a paper profit is not money in the bank. But experts say that many loyal season-ticket holders decide to fork out $1,800 to $2,000 for an annual NBA season ticket year-after-year with the full expectation that they won’t attend all the basketball games. In fact, many commit to that upfront cost because they expect to sell unused tickets at a nice profit. That money may be hard to recover. “The average New York Knicks ticket holder for all four home games lost would lose $542,” says Chris Matcovich, director of data and communications at TiqIQ. “Fans with seats in the 400s may only lose $20 or $30 while those with premium seats in the 100s are looking at losing a few hundred per game.”

However, there’s good news for those who bought tickets on the resale market, which usually charges around $88 per seat. All major secondary market sites have a full refund policy, says Jack Groetzinger, co-founder of comparison site SeatGeek.com, But if you buy from a private seller on eBay or Craiglist, he warns that you may have to eat up the cost.

Do you have sympathy with the lost profits of the season ticket holders?


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    • With professional sports, everyone loses – the more the better so
      there is no sympathy for anyone involved. Money spent on this is
      lost anyway – communities spend money on traffic, interest rates, and the money involved just goes from the pockets of the “little guy”, the saps to the pockets of the wealthy without producing anything for human needs. The players, most of whom could not earn a living at honest work steal their massive salaries from the saps and usually end up broke with brains more damaged than they started with.

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