NFL: Denver Broncos 'Weeding Out' Season Ticket Holders Who Resell Their Seats
Oct 30, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos fans in the fourth quarter of the game against the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

In a bold move to win back their stands, The Denver Broncos of the NFL are revoking the rights of season ticket holders who sell their seats in the secondary markets.

Reselling tickets to sports and entertainment events has become more than just a cottage industry these days. There is a boatload of money to be made by ticket holders as well as ticket brokers by listing their inventory on secondary market websites on the internet.

The residual effects the secondary ticket markets have had on sporting events are plenty. Sure, fans that have been shut out of sporting events for years now have access to those events if they are willing to pay a premium to do so. But there are other ramifications.

Teams do not realize any of the profits made from the resale of tickets. That money goes directly into the pockets of the reseller and the site that brokers the transaction. Teams also have no control over who buys these seats. Some buyers could actually be former season ticket holders who had their accounts suspended for certain violations. But mostly, the buyers appear to be fans of opposing teams.

The Denver Broncos are fighting back. Tired of seeing their home field advantage slowly slipping away, have decided to revoke the rights of season account holders who did not attend a single game last season and sold their tickets over the internet. There will be exceptions made, however, for account holders who could not attend games due to extenuating circumstances such as health issues.

From the Denver Post:

“The forced non-renewals also will allow the Broncos to make season tickets available to some fans on the 75,000-person waiting list for the first time in six years and increase its very limited single-game ticket allotment. Last season, 97 percent of the seating capacity at Mile High Stadium came from season-ticket holders, leaving just 3 percent for single games.

The Broncos said their legal “weeding out” — based on technology in the electronic ticket resale market — is putting “more tickets in the hands of Denver Broncos fans,” team spokesman Patrick Smyth said Tuesday.”

It seems like both a good and a bad idea at the same time. I personally am not pleased with watching thousands of Cowboys and Eagles fans infiltrate MetLife Stadium every year and I’m sure they’re not happy with the amount of Giant fans they have been seeing in their stadiums the past few years.

But the bottom line is that season tickets to many NFL teams are very difficult to get your hands on. Some waiting lists are tens of thousands of names long. Many of the fans that do have accounts choose to go to just a portion of the games and sell the rest, citing the prohibitive expense of attending every single game.

Denver is not penalizing those customers. They are simply revoking the tickets of account holders whose sole intention is to not support the team, but to resell their tickets to the highest bidder for a profit.

That, I can see. Good for them. Will other teams see this and attempt to do the same? Maybe. If that happened here, the Giants and Jets wouldn’t be chastised at all. Weed them them out, I say.


John Fennelly has been covering the New York sports scene on the Internet since 1997. He has advised and been published on dozens of prominent websites and in major periodicals and can been heard on sports talk radio stations all over the dial. Before embarking on his career as an accredited journalist, John held several management positions in a successful 25-year career in the financial industry. He holds a degree in New Media/Journalism from Queens College.