Monday, July 26, 2010

Arbitraging Strasburg

Just for the heck of it, I listed my tickets to Tuesday's Nationals game on StubHub at a 300% markup.

Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to pitch, and our season ticket seats are right by the Nationals bullpen. To my surprise, the tickets sold within a few hours.

I once had a professor say that you can benefit if you enjoy things that few other people do.

For us, our quirk is that we enjoy the games in which Stephen Strasburg doesn't pitch. We like it when the games are less crowded, which means shorter lines and less of a crunch heading to the Metro after the game. Plus, we've already seen him a few times.

We'll happily sell our tickets to the Strasburg games, because other people value them so much more than we do. I won't quite be able to go to other games for free because of the Strasburg proceeds, but selling those games will sure put a dent into my season ticket bill.

There are teams that sell out every game, and there are teams that nearly can't give away seats. But the Nats have a strange situation on their hands, in that Strasburg gives them an attendance jolt every 5 days. In fact, I think the day after his debut represented the largest drop-off in ticket sales between games in major league history.

Note how people like me can take advantage of this phenomenon, but the Nationals can't. They can't triple their prices every five days, or invalidate cheap ticket sales that occurred months ago.

I hope I'm not costing myself hundreds of dollars by writing about this, but such is the price of ego. Let's just hope the kid doesn't get hurt!


Wigi said...

You're a genius!