Credit where credit is due. The club has made a couple of very welcome announcements regarding ticketing over the last couple of days.
There are finally some positive developments to report regarding off pitch matters at Tottenham Hotspur. First, the club announced a price freeze regarding both season tickets and regular tickets for the upcoming 2014-15 season. This news will be welcomed by season ticket holders at White Hart Lane, who had to pay the single highest price in the Premier League for both the cheapest and most expensive season ticket this season.
This news was followed by more good news, in this case especially for Spurs’ younger supporters. As of the 2014-15 season the concessionary age will be raised from 16 to 18, meaning more young Spurs supporters will be able to attend match days at reduced prices.
The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust has campaigned relentlessly to battle the frequent increase in ticket prices and to enable young Spurs fans to watch their team play at White Hart Lane in a time where more and more young football supporters are at risk of being priced out of the game.
Yesterday Spurs announced a direct change to its ticketing terms and conditions in order to prevent ticket touts from ‘flipping’ tickets using StubHub. Flipping is the act of buying tickets with the sole intention of re-selling them at vastly inflated prices. StubHub’s re-listing feature, originally aimed to accommodate buyers who were unable to attend the game on short notice to get rid of their tickets, enabled touts to snap up various tickets and then re-list them for prices that regularly exceeded £500 per ticket.
Tottenham’s partnership with StubHub has met opposition ever since its introduction. The Stop StubHub group launched various initiatives to voice their protest against StubHub’s lack of pricing restrictions, exorbitant service fees and the ability for potential ticket touts to buy tickets and directly re-list them for sale on the secondary ticketing platform.
A recent email sent by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to its One Hotspur members read:
Further to the recent update posted on the Club’s website (19 February 2014) regarding our partnership with StubHub, we are contacting all One Hotspur Season Ticket Holders and Members to advise of an immediate amendment to the ticket resale process.
With immediate effect the relisting of tickets on the StubHub platform will be prevented and prohibited to ensure that season ticket holders wishing to list at a reasonable price can be reassured that those same tickets cannot be purchased and resold at a higher price. An additional clause has been added to the One Hotspur Terms and Conditions to reflect this alteration:
“5.3 Only Platinum, Gold and Silver Season Ticket holders can list a seat for sale on the StubHub platform for matches at White Hart Lane. Tickets purchased directly via StubHub for Tottenham Hotspur matches cannot be re-listed for sale. In the event that a purchaser is unable to attend a fixture after they have purchased a ticket via StubHub, the purchaser should contact StubHub customer services on 0800 358 8585 for further assistance.”
As mentioned in the statement referenced above, we are continuing to work with our colleagues at StubHub to identify additional amendments to the current processes to ensure that the system operates in a fair and transparent way for the benefit of all supporters.
In response, the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust released the following statement today:
StubHub resale platform
THST response to THFC announcement of 17th March 2014
THST welcomes THFC’s decision to listen to the concerns of fans over the StubHub ticket exchange scheme. The decision to prevent the flipping (resale) of tickets is a very important one, as it prevents so-called “professional resellers” – or touts – from taking advantage of the system.
However, we would like more clarification on a number of aspects of the club’s announcement. While THFC says it will act to ensure tickets are sold on the exchange at a “reasonable price” it does not specify what it considers to be a reasonable price. We would also like further clarification on what “further assistance” StubHub’s customer services department will be giving to to people who have bought a ticket on the exchange but are unable to attend the match.
THST will continue to discuss this scheme with the club and push for further safeguards to the interests of fans. In particular, we would like to see a price cap introduced across the scheme. While we will continue to push for improvements to the current system, we still believe the best way forward is for the club to replace the StubHub scheme with an ethical exchange scheme that operates primarily as a service to fans, rather than primarily as an additional income stream.
The Football Supporters’ Federation has shown its support for the Stop StubHub campaign, which is also supported by the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust:
“Fans already find ticket prices more than demanding enough. The introduction of an additional level of profiteering at our expense can only serve to price more fans out of the game, and must be resisted.”