MSG execs fired after being caught in ticket scalping scandal
New York Post
22nd January 2016
Madison Square Garden has fired about a half dozen sales executives — plus a senior executive in ticket sales and corporate hospitality — after they were caught in a ticket reselling scandal, The Post has learned. The executives resold coveted tickets to Knicks and Rangers games for a profit, an investigation by The Garden has found, sources said. “They got caught and were terminated,” one source said.
“It was uncovered through an internal investigation that a small handful of employees were breaking company policies and, as a result, they were relieved of their responsibilities,” an MSG spokesman said in a statement to The Post. “As this is an employee matter, MSG will have no additional comment. ” The number of executives who were caught in the ticket imbroglio, one source said, was fewer than 10.
There are roughly 40 salespeople overall. “They were buying the cheapest tickets for sporting events and reselling them at higher prices on StubHub,” the source said. Among those let go is Adam Campbell, a senior vice president of ticket sales and corporate hospitality, one source said.
Campbell may not have actually been scalping tickets but should have had better control of his staff, the source added. Campbell could not be reached for comment. The executives who bought seats for face value — only to scalp them — had access to Knicks and Rangers tickets that are not easy to come by, the source said.
These are the tickets with the lowest face value, which the teams hold often for group sales. Ticket sellers typically have access to this inventory. For sports fans, face value tickets to Knicks and Rangers games are among the hardest to come by because most of the seats go to season ticket holders.
For example, weekday Knicks tickets in Section 211, Row 7 list for $112 a seat, while tickets in that area for Tuesday night’s game versus the Oklahoma City Thunder are selling on StubHub for around $180 each — giving the original owner a profit of $68, or a return of nearly 61 percent. There are 19, 812 seats for the Knicks and 18, 006 seats for Rangers’ games. Most MSG employees when buying tickets are required to get permission from their supervisor in writing, and then need to explain why they are buying the seats.
But because ticket executives sellers already have the actual tickets, the process is different for them. Although employees scalping tickets is not common, it has happened at MSG before. Former MSG CEO Dave Checketts in 1996, after a investigation, fired five ticket office employees for reselling tickets, the New York Times reported.
MSG shares have fallen 16 percent in the last year. They closed on Friday at $151. 52, up 58 cents, or 3 percent.
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