SBD/February 27, 2013/Facilities

MLBAM Announces New Mobile-Based, Seat-Upgrade Initiative As Part Of Ballpark App

MLBAM last night announced a new mobile-based, seat-upgrade effort as part of a larger refresh of its At The Ballpark venue-oriented app. The Braves and Twins will offer seat upgrades through the app early in the '13 season, followed by roughly another 10 teams by midseason. Specific components of the seat upgrades will vary somewhat from club to club, similar to how individual club strategies differ on dynamic pricing. But the upgrades will include both better seat locations as well the opportunity to purchase various experiences once a fan arrives at a venue. MLBAM made the announcement yesterday at its second annual fan upfront in N.Y., which nearly doubled its turnout to more than 300 people. MLBAM is working on the seat upgrade effort with Experience, an Atlanta-based tech startup that has previously worked with the Celtics, Clippers, Hawks and MLS Galaxy, among others. "The better location is only going to be part of this," said MLBAM President & CEO Bob Bowman. "We're looking at experiential upgrades as well. We think there's a lot of value to be offered here." The refreshed At The Ballpark app also will include nine additional teams and 13 overall this season offering mobile ticketing through Passbook, Apple's portal for users to store tickets, boarding passes, brand-loyalty programs and other similar materials. The Giants, Mets, Royals and Red Sox began testing Passbook late last season, with adoption rates far above initial expectations. The quartet will be joined this season by the Twins, Tigers, Brewers, A's, Orioles, Pirates, Cubs and two other still-unannounced clubs. MLBAM also used Passbook as a means of entry to the upfront last night to further show its rising interest in the technology. Interactive rewards programs, such as what the Dodgers recently announced, also will be incorporated into the new version of At The Ballpark.
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