AEG is making it “easier to book concert and sports tickets for friends without having to pay for them all at once,” debuting AXS Invite at “some of its owned and operated venues starting this month,” according to the AP. The service allows ticket buyers “to pay for their own seats and then reserve several adjacent ones online.” The purchaser then “invites friends through Facebook or email, and the friends have 48 hours to accept or decline the invitation.” The invited purchasers in turn “register on the site and pay for the tickets themselves,” with unsold tickets going “back up for sale.” AXS Invite “won't be available immediately when tickets are first put on sale, which means it probably won't be useful for quickly sold-out shows.” AXS.com Senior VP & GM Tom Andrus said that the feature “could be available within hours or the next day, but certainly within 48 hours of a given sale time.” AEG launched its AXS ticketing arm about a year ago and “has so far changed 18 of its approximately 100 owned and operated venues over to AXS from ticketing competitor Ticketmaster” (AP, 10/12). In Dallas, Mario Tarradell noted AXS Invite “applies to sporting games and other events such as Cirque du Soleil.” AXS Invite is “currently being used in venues in nine markets: Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Minnesota, Ontario, San Francisco, Saratoga and Seattle” (DALLASNEWS.com, 10/12).
Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten is “focused on what he calls an aggressive off-season plan” to respond to Dodger Stadium’s “most pressing current needs,” according to Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. TIMES. Kasten said those needs include “back-of-the-house stuff -- power, water, clubhouse, batting cages for both teams.” He added, "In the receiving bowls we're going to have more restaurants and bars, more hanging-out areas, gathering areas. Our sound system, our video system, kids’ areas -- those are the kind of things we’re looking at." Kasten: "We do have an aggressive plan ... you could say it can’t all get done in the 24 weeks I have until opening day.” He added that the teams has been “so focused on the immediate changes the stadium needs” that ownership has “given scant thought to more long-term needs.” Kasten said if he knew the team was “going to be here for the next 50 years like Wrigley and Fenway, then we’d also be doing probably other 50-year things.” Dilbeck noted “ultimate plans for Dodger Stadium might also be on hold while Mark Walter and his Guggenheim Group explore the possibility of bidding on AEG.” There are “several possibilities to consider for the long-term future of Dodger Stadium.” It could “undergo a significant renovation under new stadium architect Janet Marie Smith,” or it could be “knocked down and a new ballpark built.” If Guggenheim Baseball Management were to purchase AEG, it could “build both ballpark and stadium on the Chavez Ravine site, or less likely, build the ballpark downtown and the NFL stadium in the ravine.” Kasten: “My guess is we’ll be here, long term, permanent” (L.A. TIMES, 10/12).
Tonight's Wizards-Nets preseason game marks the NBA's debut at Barclays Center, and those in attendance will find that “everything from the angle of the seating bowl to the installation of halogen lights was done with a purpose: to generate energy inside the arena and give the team a home-court advantage,” according to Scott Cacciola of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. AECOM Principal and arena Project Manager Steve Duethman, whose firm collaborated on the Barclays project, said that the arena is “much more intimate than the Prudential Center, which was designed primarily for hockey.” Barclays Center “actually has two sports lighting systems: one for the Nets and one for everyone else.” The halogen system is “unique to Barclays and Staples Center” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/15). Meanwhile, Barclays Center on Saturday announced that it is “dropping its policy of using airport-style metal detectors at all events ‘for the foreseeable future.’” In N.Y., Rich Calder noted the announcement comes shortly after a report that the arena “used them for Jay-Z concerts while the less intrusive metal wands were utilized for a Barbra Streisand show.” While some fans and city officials “blasted the difference as a ‘double standard,’ arena officials denied the different policy was racially motivated.” Barclays Center GM David Anderson said, “After witnessing long lines during events in which we used walk-through magnetometers, we began to utilize hand-held magnetometers at the Barbra Streisand concert Thursday evening. We found that this strategy allowed for quicker access into the arena, while maintaining safety and security” (N.Y. POST, 10/14).
CAUGHT IN THE NET: In N.Y., Bob Raissman wrote, "Judging by all the Nets garb seen in and around the metropolitan area the fever is contagious and not confined to Brooklyn.” This is “sweet for the NBA and -- believe it or not -- the Knicks.” If a “true rivalry is created, it will make each and every Nets-Knicks game an event” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/14). Nets C Brook Lopez said of the team’s move to Brooklyn, “It’s only mere miles, but the mentality is completely different. We are in the city now and have to deal with a lot more media, but the people in Brooklyn have been so welcoming.” He added, “The city has a huge sports fan base and is excited to have us. It has really been noticeable in practice, just the level of competition every day” (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/14).
BARCLAYS BOXING: In N.Y., Tim Smith wrote Barclays Center is “raising the stakes for big-time boxing in New York,” and regular bouts at the arena “will put the heat on Madison Square Garden.” MSG’s nickname is “The Mecca of Boxing,” but the facility has “scaled back its commitment to the sport in the last three years as heavyweight championship fights have moved to Eastern Europe.” That has “left a void in New York that the Barclays is looking to fill.” Barclays Center has “already poached a grassroots boxing staple of the Garden, signing a deal to host the New York Daily News Golden Gloves semifinals and finals for the next three years.” MSG had been “home to New York’s premier amateur championship boxing tournament for the last 50 years.” Still, there are “no firm plans for another professional boxing show at the Barclays beyond the card on Oct. 20.” Barclays Center and Nets CEO Brett Yormark said, “Our vision is to make sure that we have shows on a consistent basis. We haven’t closed on the next show yet. But we’re looking at some time in December” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/14).