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Volume 21 No. 39
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6. Growth of ticket consolidators across sports

For many years, pro teams working with brokers to offload some risk in selling tickets had been at best a poorly kept trade secret. Then for many teams, the broker-as-partner strategy was scattershot at best, with little alignment between primary and secondary pricing and some teams working with literally hundreds of resellers, many of which had conflicting agendas.

Those days, however, are now quickly ending. The norm within many leading U.S. sports is becoming a much more targeted, data-driven approach where a team will strike formal partnerships with a select handful of larger, established distribution companies such as Eventellect or Dynasty Sports & Entertainment, marked by a regular sharing of data and price controls.

Major League Baseball, given the sheer volume of games it plays, is predictably a prime mover in this emerging trend. An estimated 10 of 30 MLB clubs last year held a deliberate ticket distribution and resale strategy, a number expected to grow sharply in 2018. And league executives said they plan to look at various individual team deals with ticket distributors in a more holistic fashion.

“It’s really helped us, giving us a lot of data and a lot more insight into an area that was behind the black curtain before,” said Mike Bucek, vice president of market and business development for the Kansas City Royals, which dropped from 227 season-ticket accounts to brokers to two in the span of three years.