Want to sell your Indians MLB playoff tickets? Big warning from the Tribe

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - After watching Chicago Cub fans invade Progressive Field during the 2016 World Series the Cleveland Indians are sending a warning, even a little bit of a threat, to those who are thinking about selling their tickets this year on the secondary market.

An email was sent by the Tribe to Season Ticket Holders an anyone who got to but tickets in a presale that if they find out you sell them on the secondary market not only could you be banned from future sales, but the ticket itself could be revoked.

In big bold letters the email reads, "The tickets are not intended to be purchased with the intent to be resold" and is followed by a warning.

"As such, all tickets acquired through these offers will be closely monitored, and abuses may result in the cancellation of future games/series, as well as exclusion from future presales (2017 Postseason, 2018 Opening Day, etc.)."

In the 2016 MLB playoffs there were several stories of Indians Season Ticket Holders who purchased more tickets than they needed and selling the extras for thousands of dollars.

The problem for a home team is it meant visiting fans were able to take away any kind of home field advantage.

Indians spokesman Curtis Danburg says, "Our primary goal is for Indians game tickets to get in Tribe fans' hands at face value. So ultimately we're trying to limit the groups of people whose main intent is to purchase and resell those tickets for profit."

The Indians can track some tickets through the barcode on the ticket. They can see when they are sold over and over again. While they admit that can't totally control the secondary market, Danburg says they have taken the following steps:

  • We took steps to remove tickets from known brokers after last season.
  • We in some instances reduced the amount of tickets our Season Ticket Holders can purchase through presales.
  • Through our agreement with StubHub, we can provide service to those customers and more closely monitor activity from our Season Ticket Holders to gauge whether they’re engaging in activity that violates our ticket policies
  • Most importantly, this agreement with StubHub protects our fans who, due to sellouts on Indians.com, must purchase through the secondary market. StubHub offers our fans the most secure way to purchase tickets in the secondary market.

The Tribe is clearly leaning heavily on the site StubHub for secondary market sales. The scary thing for a fan buying a ticket on any other site is it's possible if someone is flagged and has their tickets pulled by the Tribe, it's possible for someone to be buying a ticket that won't work when they get to the gate.

"Anyone who bought a ticket outside of StubHub runs the risk of fraudulent ticket activity or their bar code being revoked, which will not allow them admittance to the game," warns Danburg.

Cleveland 19 asked Danbug what is the threshold for getting a fan in trouble. How many tickets can someone sell if they bought the entire playoffs? How much can they sell them for even if it's on StubHub, before they are seen as purposely making a profit? Danburg would not expand on the teams policies.

The Indians are encouraging all fans to check out its ticket policy page online.

Here are a few of the important question and answers from that page:

Q: I prefer to sell my tickets on a website other than StubHub. Can I do that? 
A: No, StubHub is the exclusive secondary ticket marketplace for the Cleveland Indians.

Q: What amount can I sell my tickets for on StubHub? 
A: While there is no limit to the amount one can sell tickets on StubHub, the Cleveland Indians Ticket Transfer Restrictions prohibit certain resale activity, including activity by someone that acquires tickets with the purpose of reselling the tickets, including those that resell with the intent to realize a profit. As such, if the Club determines that your ticket activity rises to such a level, then it will deem such a transaction or transactions violate its Ticket Transfer Policies.

Q: What happens if I violate the Cleveland Indians Ticket Transfer Policy?
A:   A violation of the Cleveland Indians Ticket Transfer Policy may lead to the seizure or cancellation of the Ticket without a refund. It also could lead to the future seizure or cancellation of all tickets that are controlled by or affiliated with the holder of the ticket.

Q: Can I sell more than 50% of the tickets I purchased?   
A: No. Unless otherwise authorized by the Club, such transactions would be viewed as Broker Activity and would violate the Cleveland Indians' Ticket Transfer Policies. Those reselling or attempting to resell more than 50% of their tickets may have their tickets cancelled without refund.

Q: How do I know what number of sales or level of profit constitutes Broker Activity?   
A: If you intend to purchase or acquire tickets with the mindset to simply resell the tickets and/or to make a profit in the future on the resale of the tickets, then you should not conduct the transaction as it violates the Cleveland Indians Ticket Transfer Policies.

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