Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise the Seattle Sounders has jumped on board with SeatGeek as its primary and secondary ticketing platform, after nine years of partnership with Ticketmaster.
Sounders will become the second MLS team to use SeatGeek, after Sporting Kansas City linked up with the primary ticketing service almost 13 months ago. The Portland Timbers and Minnesota United are also set to join SeatGeek in 2019. The secondary ticketing giant became the official ticketing partner of MLS in July 2016, though it has only been in the primary market since its deal with Sporting KC.
With the highest attendance in MLS in 2016, with an average of 42,636 per game, Sounders fans can use the technology to sell or transfer tickets on any exchange site of their choice. It also means the mass of fans can enter CenturyLink Field seamlessly by using their phones to scan for entry on matchdays.
“They’re a technology company that works really strongly and smartly and efficiently,” Sounders chief operating officer Bart Wiley said of the multiyear deal, declining to disclose terms. “We’re excited about the opportunity they’re going to provide our fans, just to continue to have an easier, more efficient overall ticketing experience, along with the mobile as well.”
“I think as technology continues to make everything different and better, the ticketing world is no different. Every team is looking to make things better for their fans. The backbone of our organisation has always been fan first, fan friendly, and if this is something that checks those boxes, we’re ready to jump in with both feet.”
The Sounders’ move away from Ticketmaster is reportedly unrelated to complaints about network outages during the current season that halted fans’ entry into CenturyLink Field. The deal had been rumoured to be in motion since the Sporting KC agreement last year.
“This is giving true ability to every team to be able to control where their inventory goes and sell in as many places as they would like,” SeatGeek co-founder Russ D’Souza said.
In an exclusive interview with our sister site, TheStadiumBusiness.com, Wiley revealed how the demographic of the fan base in Seattle affects the way it makes decisions in terms of pricing, technology and premium additions, as well as discussing their views at the time on how SeatGeek had benefitted other teams. View the full interview here.