The Yankees announced they no longer will accept print-at-home tickets, which the team says will help guard against fraud and add convenience for fans.
But the move is being widely viewed as an attempt to make it more difficult to use secondary-market sites such as StubHub, which relies heavily on the print-at-home model. (Most MLB teams, including the Mets, have partnerships with StubHub; the Yankees do not.)
The Yankees will accept only two types of tickets: traditional ones that are printed on hard-stock paper, or mobile ones, in which a fan would show his or her smartphone upon entering the stadium, just as like many travelers now do in lieu of a printed boarding pass when getting on an airplane.
Print-at-home tickets have become the norm in the last decade or so. A fan receives an emailed PDF of a ticket, prints it out and presents it at the stadium to be scanned. (The Mets accept all three types of tickets, as do most Major League Baseball teams.)
The Yankees said print-at-home tickets “are being discontinued so as to further combat fraud and counterfeiting of tickets associated with print-at-home paper tickets.”
There is nothing the Yankees legally can do to stop a fan from reselling a hard-copy ticket, but much of StubHub’s business is built on the print-at-home model. That option now is gone, which will complicate fans’ ability to buy resale tickets on short notice outside the team-controlled Yankees Ticket Exchange.
“StubHub believes that the best customer experience is one on a free and open marketplace where fans can buy and sell tickets whenever and wherever they want,” StubHub said in a statement Wednesday.
It is possible that other ticketing services, including StubHub, will find technological paths around the Yankees’ mobile system over time. But the PDF road has been shut down.