Lightning and Ticketmaster Limit Fan Access with Anti-Consumer Practice - Michigan Ticket Fairness

Lightning and Ticketmaster Limit Fan Access with Anti-Consumer Practice

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Are you a Wingnut hoping to travel from Michigan to Tampa Bay in order to watch the Red Wings take on the Lightning in the first round of the NHL playoffs?

Then you better get on StubHub and other resale sites now, because the Lightning and Ticketmaster are only making initial sales to residents of Florida. If you attempt to buy a retail seat from Ticketmaster and provide anything but a Florida address, prepare to have your transaction canceled.

The Lightning are the latest team attempting to limit access for away fans to playoff match-ups in order to boost their home-ice advantage as much as possible.

It’s unclear how this anti-consumer tactic is legal.

Professional sports teams will always look to exploit competitive advantages anyway they can. This is why oversight by leagues is necessary to maintain competitive balance. For example, the NFL recently punished the Atlanta Falcons for pumping artificial crowd noise into their stadium during home games.

The Tampa Bay Lightning may not be sending cheers through the loudspeaker, but they are definitely artificially affecting the market and the atmosphere by preventing out-of-state fans from buying retail tickets.

The practice will force Detroit fans to only participate in the secondary market and create artificially higher prices due to the limited access created by the geographical purchasing parameter.

While this is not a widespread practice, the Lightning is far from the only team looking to exploit it. Allowing this to continue could eventually create a profound negative effect on sporting events. 

Imagine if Michigan fans were not allowed to travel to Ohio State’s Horseshoe or if the Cleveland Cavaliers prevented all out-of-state fans from coming to see LeBron James live?

Sports’ fans would be livid.

And they should be now.

This is a ridiculous move by the Tampa Bay Lightning that should have no place in sports or entertainment. 

Write to your lawmaker to express your support for fair ticket practices in Michigan so that no anti-consumer tactics are ever utilized here.

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