Does Stewart gig offer a glimpse into the future? TSS February 9, 2011 Leeds United 14 Comments Following on from the success of the Kaiser Chiefs homecoming a couple of years back, Leeds United have announced another gig at Elland Road and there’s good Reason To Believe this one will be a sell-out. Whilst I suspect most Leeds United fans (myself included) couldn’t care less about Rod Stewart playing at the home of our beloved football club, the ticket sales for this event may offer a worrying look into our future. Within days of Leeds United announcing the gig, tickets are already being resold online with prices ranging from £90 for a seat that cost less than £50 to over £500 for the infamous LUFC hospitality packages. Reselling tickets is by no means a new phenomena. For decades now, wherever demand for an event outweighs available ticket numbers there has been a market to buy other people’s tickets at a premium. As Leeds United look for a return to the Premier League, will the resale of Elland Road matchday tickets become the norm? We’ve already seen Leeds United tickets being resold for big games such as the FA Cup matches against Manchester United and Arsenal, and I’m sure it took place the last time we were in the big time and travelling across Europe. A quick browse through the TixDaq site and you’ll find tickets for upcoming games such as Arsenal v Barcelona, Chelsea v Manchester City and Real Madrid v Barcelona, which would seem to add further weight to the argument that the resale of Leeds United tickets is somewhat inevitable. But what does that mean for the average fan? It’s one of those issues that will no doubt polarise opinion. For the average fan, an open ticket exchange market can be a great thing. If, for example, you cannot attend a match you’ve already bought tickets for due to unforeseen circumstances, you can quickly advertise your tickets online and will usually recoup the price paid. Better still, if the match is one with high demand, you may even make a tidy profit. At the other end of the transaction sits a Leeds United fan that missed out on the tickets originally and would not have been able to see his beloved team in action without the benefits such a service offers. Sure, he’s paid a little more than he’d have liked, but he’s going to see a Leeds United match that will live long in his memory – and what use is money without memories? The flaw in all this however is that some will no doubt exploit the system. Some people will see an opportunity to apply for tickets to every Leeds United game home and away, knowing the matches will sell out and that they can make a tidy profit from the resale markets. It’s essentially legalised touting. The consequences of this could be very costly for your average fan. With Ken Bates already seeking to match our ticket prices up with that of a top six Premier League side, the added cost to those who are unsuccessful getting tickets through the club (due to the added demand of the touts) may find themselves priced out of Leeds United games as the already over-inflated prices, are topped up even further. It’s a fine balance really. The resale of tickets gives us a second chance to see events we would otherwise have no chance of getting tickets for whilst also helping the Average Joe recoup the money he paid for his tickets in the first place. But the clubs and event organisers will have to work hard to put measures in place that will stop the opportunists capitalising on our support.