Major League Baseball today will announce that San Francisco-based Stubhub is going to be baseball's official online ticket reseller, starting next season.
The deal marks yet another example of how fans will be buying and reselling tickets to sporting events.
MLB generally has left ticket-reselling rules to individual franchises. The Angels, for example, allow season-ticket holders to resell seats through the team's website; the New York Yankees have never embraced reselling.
Franchises will continue to use such companies as Ticketmaster to sell tickets online, a number that MLB expects to reach about 28 million seats this year.
Next season, however, only Stubhub will be allowed to operate an online ticket resale window on any MLB-operated website. The league, however, said it won't take legal action against fans who prefer other online alternatives.
Stubhub has paid an unknown amount for the right to be baseball's "official" online ticket reseller. Ticket buyers and sellers will pay a fee to use Stubhub's system.
It was uncertain Wednesday how MLB's partnership with Ebay-subsidiary Stubhub would be received by Ticketmaster, the industry giant that now operates resale windows for many MLB franchises.
An MLB executive said the league was "comfortable" that the Stubhub deal wouldn't violate terms of baseball's existing arrangement with Ticketmaster. Earlier this month, Ticketmaster sued the Cleveland Cavaliers for allegedly disregarding an agreement that gave the company exclusive rights to all ticketing for the NBA team. The Cavaliers had turned online resales over to another company.
-- Greg Johnson