Secondary Sales of Entertainment and Sports Tickets: Addressing Challenges from Fraud and Scalping

Primary Researchers

  • Hemant Bhargava, Distinguished Professor, Jerome and Elsie Suran Chair in Technology Management, Director, Center for Analytics and Technology in Society Research Associate
  • Anirudh Arora, Center for Analytics and Technology in Society Research Associate, UC Davis MBA student

Our research delves into the persistent challenges posed by secondary ticket sales in public spaces, events, and sports, with an emphasis on their impact on event access, affordability, and fairness. The secondary ticket market has witnessed substantial growth, reaching $2.6 billion in 2022. A historical analysis from 2008-2022 indicates a marked-up range of 45% to 60%, with 10% of tickets originating from the secondary market.

The major ticket vendors in the industry, with their primary focus on system upgrades to counter ticket bots, fall short in comprehensively addressing secondary market sales. Despite their proactive stance, the broader issue remains unaddressed.

Assigning tickets to individuals is explored as a potential solution for secondary sales, but concerns arise regarding its impact on event attendance. Manual verification introduces delays, while facial identification software raises questions about user comfort and data privacy.

NFT and blockchain solutions show promise in addressing secondary ticket sales, particularly in the music and gaming industries. However, their application in public spaces, such as national parks, remains largely unexplored, limiting their potential benefits.

National parks, as public spaces, face challenges with ticket scalping, especially during peak seasons. The prevalence of fraudulent tickets sold through third parties amplifies the issue, shedding light on the scope and severity of obtaining tickets from secondary markets.

A potential solution lies in digitizing the ticketing process for public spaces, utilizing a centralized application to track each sale and ensure transparency. This approach could establish a comprehensive record of ticket sales, facilitating efficient pricing management during peak and off-peak seasons.

In conclusion, our research underscores the need for a comprehensive and multifaceted approach to address secondary ticket sales in public spaces, events, and sports. The proposed solutions aim to strike a balance between streamlining secondary sales and maintaining a seamless experience for event attendees in public places, considering technological innovations, industry collaboration, and user acceptance.