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Volume 24 No. 156
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NFL Completes Five-Year Extension With Ticketmaster, Moving To New Open Model

The NFL has completed a major five-year extension of its official ticketing relationship with Ticketmaster, moving to a new open model based around the company’s new Presence system. In the deal, which begins next year, Ticketmaster will be the league’s preferred primary ticketing partner while retaining rights to power the league’s official NFL resale marketplace. But Ticketmaster will also open up its platform to other licensed marketplaces to participate in authorized NFL ticket resale, with the league overseeing the process to incorporate third-party resellers. The NFL has not yet detailed precisely how additional resale outlets will be folded into the new system. Ticketmaster also has committed to deploy its new Presence identity-based digital ticketing system across the league, with installation at 30 of 31 current NFL stadiums likely done by the start of the '18 regular season. The Lions remain a client of AXS for primary ticketing. The broad rollout of Presence will allow NFL clubs to obtain a wealth of new data on their ticket holders, transfer and resale transactions, and ingress patterns. Ticketmaster President of North America Jared Smith said, “We’ve been aligned with the NFL for a long time, and we both wanted to do something here that was really unique and progressive and helped move the industry forward. This is a big opportunity to establish a new model for the league, and do it with everybody at the same time.” Financial terms were not disclosed, but NFL Senior VP/Club Business Development Brian Lafemina said it was a “fair assumption” the deal surpasses the more than $200M Ticketmaster paid during the prior five-year term. NFL owners unanimously approved the deal earlier yesterday at their fall meeting in N.Y., and the agreement will take effect beginning next season. “We’re looking to get the broadest participation possible [from other resellers],” Lafemina said. “We’ve done something here that is good for the fan, good for Ticketmaster, and good for ticketing broadly.”