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  • Ben Drain

The Great Ticket Divide: Charity vs. Crime

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

The Los Angeles Lakers and Delta have built upon their former partnership with a new marketing initiative hoping to benefit both parties. Beyond being named the “exclusive airline partner” of the team, the two organizations will now be instituting “Showtime Seat Exchange.” This new program allows Lakers season ticket holders to trade in their game tickets for free domestic flights with Delta. For four select games, tickets donated to Delta will be distributed to various charities and organizations in the Los Angeles area. The first game of this program is the November 15 clash with the Sacramento Kings that will be benefitting the After-School All-Stars organization.

Delta is providing a free, round-trip flight in exchange for one ticket. There are limits on this opportunity as Delta will only be accepting the first 50 tickets, and the offer for a free flight stands for one year following the donation. If I had season tickets, I feel like I would be more than willing to give up one game for a free round-trip flight. But as I am not a Lakers season ticket holder, I do not have that decision. For those that do have this decision to make, it provides an equally exciting proposal. On a per game average, Lakers season tickets can cost between $38 for nosebleeds and $315 for courtside seats. Meanwhile, the average cost of a round-trip domestic flight is $346. Regardless of where your seats are, donating to Delta would be advantageous. This seems like a win for everyone involved. You get a free trip, the Lakers lose nothing, Delta gets good PR, and most importantly, the children get the Lakers.

Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets are tackling spare season tickets in a far different manner. Recently, the Nets have terminated season tickets for those who choose to resell their tickets. These former season-ticket holders are striking back, serving the Brooklyn Nets two lawsuits regarding the violation of antitrust laws. The Nets cite that the terminated ticket holders were unlicensed ticket vendors or distributed more tickets than their license permitted. The real reason that the Nets intervened is the lack of potential revenue for their profit-sharing partner Dynasty Sports & Entertainment is the “official” ticket vendor of the Nets.

Regardless of the credibility, or lack thereof, of the Nets’ claims, the timing is rather poor. In the same week that the Lakers offer a deal to give up one ticket and get rewarded, the Nets revoke the entire season’s worth of tickets for essentially the same action. Yes, the partnership between the Lakers and Delta is disguised as a “charitable donation,” but if you do so, you receive a reward worth up to 10 times your donation. The Nets resellers surely could not support such robust profit margins, yet as a result, they have lost their tickets for the rest of the season. If you’re a Nets season ticket holder and you come down with a cold, don’t sell your ticket, just leave the seat empty, the Nets don’t want their arena full.


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