Yankees, StubHub spat over ducat prices

The New York Yankees and StubHub are having a spat about ticket prices, and it could lead to a divorce at the end of this season, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

The marriage has been on the rocks for a while.

StubHub, the 12-year-old Internet site where "fans buy and sell tickets," has been an official partner of Major League Baseball for the past five years, and ticketholders of all 30 teams use it as a convenient way to sell seats they do not want.

But for the past few years, the cheapest unwanted Yankee tickets have been reselling on StubHub at just a few dollars apiece, and sources say the team is not happy.

For instance, on Monday there were 7,184 tickets listed on StubHub for next Monday night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, with prices starting at just $3 — less than the price of a beer.

If fans went to the stadium box office or to Yankees.com, the team’s official site, those seats would cost $15.20 apiece.

Worse for the team, there is a direct link to StubHub on the Yankees’ website.

Sources said the Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and some other clubs would like StubHub to place a floor on ticket prices offered for sale on their site.

But that goes against StubHub’s philosophy of letting the marketplace set the price. It is very unlikely that StubHub, or its parent company, eBay, will go along with the idea of a price floor, since it contradicts the San Francisco-based firm’s entire business model.It is still unclear whether the Yankees and the dissatisfied members of MLB’s lineup can break off from the teams that seem satisfied with StubHub and might want to renew the contract, which ends after this season.