Season Ticket Buyer Value and Secondary Market Options

October 10 2019

Published: Marketing Science 38(6)
Coauthors: Michael Lewis (Emory) and Yanwen Wang (UBC)


Sports franchises derive significant portions of their revenues from season ticket holders. A development that may affect season ticket management is the growth of legal secondary markets. We develop a structural model that integrates both the supply and demand sides of the secondary market into season ticket buyers’ ticket purchase and usage choices. We use a panel dataset that combines season and single ticket purchase records with ticket usage data to investigate the value of secondary markets. We estimate that the secondary market increases the team’s season ticket revenues by about $1 million per season. At the level of the individual season ticket customer, we estimate an increase in CLV ranging from $1,327 in the lowest quality seat tier to $2,553 in the highest. In terms of value to the customer, the average dollar value of having a secondary market is $138 per season ticket. Across segments, the secondary market provides the equivalent of a 4% discount in the premium seat tier versus an 11% discount in the economy seat tier. While the secondary market creates more value in the premium-ticket tier segments, the secondary market has the most impact on behavior in the low price oriented segment.

Keywords: Secondary Markets, Season Ticket Holders, Ticket Resale

[Download Article]