Sports

A Lack of Fans at the Masters Strains Those Who Would Sell the Experience


This week ordinarily draws well-to-do couples, old men with their middle-aged sons on pilgrimages, corporate titans, aspiring moguls and many others to parking lots, tents and hotel rooms turned offices so they can pay thousands of dollars for daily tickets with face values of $75 or $115.


Since the coronavirus pandemic began to grip the United States in March, just ahead of baseball season and the N.C.A.A.’s basketball tournaments , many brokers have seen revenues fall sharply.


“The way that I think about the secondary market going forward is what it was originally intended for: crazy-high-volume events where demand far outstrips supply and there’s an opportunity for people who own those tickets to sell them and make some money,” said Jesse Lawrence, TicketIQ’s founder.


Indeed, the market around the decorous and curated celebration of golf, Southern hospitality and social status has appeared largely immune from the industry’s shifts, mostly because of how Augusta National sells Masters tickets.


Since Augusta National announced this year’s ban on patrons, Stephens, who mostly works with companies that buy tickets for employees or valued clients ahead of the tournament, has spent much of her time refunding sales that she said were collectively worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Some brokers were skeptical that potential advances like a vaccine or improved and increased testing would instantly prompt the club to reopen its gates, particularly if the coming months prove especially tragic.






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