The National Football League has agreed to end a mandatory ticket price floor policy that had driven up ticket prices for fans. The agreement is the result of an investigation by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, who has been investigating pricing policies in both sports and entertainment.
“No sports fan should be forced to buy, or sell, a ticket at an artificially inflated price,” said Schneiderman. “Under the NFL’s price floor scheme, fans were forced to pay inflated prices for even the least desirable NFL games. That is a slap to both sports fans and free markets."
The NFL had terminated its price floor policy when Schneiderman's investigation began. The agreement signed this week makes it official and prevents team from reinstating the policy.
Schneiderman said other sports teams and entertainment venues should follow suit.
"My office will continue to fight for the rights of sports fans and concertgoers by ensuring that secondary markets are free and competitive," Schneiderman said. "In the meantime, I encourage every NFL team—and every team in professional sports—to heed the call of all sports fans and remove price floors from every team-authorized secondary ticket market.”
The NFL's policy had required each of the 32 NFL member teams to impose a price floor on all secondary market ticket sales on the NFL’s Ticket Exchange and related websites officially sanctioned by the league. Under this arrangement, sellers were not permitted to list tickets for resale on the NFL’s officially sanctioned resale sites at a price lower than the face value of the ticket.
While the agreement applies only to the NFL and not to individual teams, it includes disclosure requirements in cases where an individual team imposes its own price floor, prohibits the NFL from directing or requiring ticketing practices among teams that are designed to preclude fans from using competing exchanges, and prohibits the NFL from interfering with an individual team’s efforts to coordinate anti-fraud measures with competing secondary ticket exchanges.