SeatGeek founder Russ D’Souza (pictured) said he is excited to see open ticketing catching on across the industry, with hopes that it will remove “a number of pain points that exist in the older ecosystem.”
SeatGeek is set to join Ticketmaster and StubHub as an NFL distribution partner as the American football league continues to roll out its new ticketing strategy.
The mobile-first firm will integrate into the NFL’s open ticketing system starting in the 2018-19 season. The partnership will see SeatGeek selling verified NFL tickets through its own marketplace later this year, which could also include primary tickets sold directly from clubs as well as resale tickets listed by fans.
D’Souza told TheTicketingBusiness.com: “This open ecosystem is great for fans, because it forces us, StubHub and Ticketmaster to compete to give fans the best possible buying experience.
“At the same time we also feel as though the better experiences across all three platforms makes fans more likely to purchase tickets in general, which ultimately leads to more fans attending live events.
“Since we launched SeatGeek Enterprise we have been strategically looking for the right venues and teams to partner with. We have been thrilled with our success thus far and the exciting partnerships with five MLS teams, an NBA team and an NFL team.
“We believe our technology and business model are better for teams and for fans, and are of course looking to bring that approach to new teams and venues in the future.
“The MLS already endorsed the concept of open ticketing in 2016, but has a slightly different structure than the NFL. The NFL can certainly be a leader, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see leagues like the NBA, NHL and MLB follow suit.”
Bart Wiley, chief operating officer at MLS franchise the Seattle Sounders, told TheTicketingBusiness.com that he felt SeatGeek was a system that their fans would resonate with.
“We’re constantly exploring ways to take better care of our fans. (SeatGeek) – it’s easy to navigate, it’s mobile friendly, it’s tech savvy.
“Additionally, our organisation is always seeking innovative and ambitious areas that can help grow our business. We were intrigued by the open market and how it would help us further understand our ticket purchasers and fans.”
While the NFL revealed in October that it has renewed its long-standing partnership with Ticketmaster, it will move away from an exclusive contract toward a new model that allows other league-approved companies to access verified tickets.
StubHub was the first to jump on board, with SeatGeek becoming the second, with the terms of the deal not confirmed.
The new approach, which has been pegged as the future of the marketplace, is the first US sports league to embrace it with all its teams.
D’Souza compared the open ticketing model to what ride-sharing apps like Uber have done for transportation.
SeatGeek are confirmed in attendance for TheTicketingBusiness Forum on 17-18 April at Emirates Old Trafford.
Image: D’Souza’s Linkedin