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Volume 23 No. 13
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SeatGeek launches products to guide venues with reopening

SeatGeek can help teams envision various scenarios for reduced seating capacities and issue tickets that have designated times for fans to arrive at venues.
SeatGeek can help teams envision various scenarios for reduced seating capacities and issue tickets that have designated times for fans to arrive at venues.
SeatGeek can help teams envision various scenarios for reduced seating capacities and issue tickets that have designated times for fans to arrive at venues.

SeatGeek is rolling out a suite of products that will help teams tackle the challenge of maximizing revenue in an era where venues will likely be less than half full when fans are allowed to attend live sports events and concerts.

 

The products in SeatGeek Adapt include a social distancing-based seating chart, timed entry, concessions and merchandise ordering, and personalized information to each ticketed fan at his or her specific seat. Venues also will be able to get projections that offer insights into fan purchasing behavior and sentiment.

Soon after COVID-19 hit the U.S., SeatGeek started meeting with the ticketing company’s clients to discuss the road ahead for the eventual return of fans to games, said co-founder Russ D’Souza.

“We basically started meeting with Major League Soccer clubs on a weekly basis, and working with them to create a set of tools that could enable them as they go through different approaches on how to handle the uncertain future,” D’Souza said. 

Adapt’s tools can be customized. For example, the platform can take into account local and state regulations around social distancing at venues and then create a manifest for a team to refer to when determining the appropriate amount of crowd spacing needed in its stadium, D’Souza said. 

“Every league, every team, every region may have different requirements for what they need, or different goals for what they need,” he said. “So we decided, why don’t we help the industry and help our clients by having this toolkit of a suite of services that they could tap into that will help them reopen their building and we could guide them and help them mix and match what tools they actually would find the most valuable, depending upon what restrictions are in place or what business practice decisions they want to make.” 

Major SeatGeek Clients

NFL: Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Arizona Cardinals
NBA: New Orleans Pelicans
MLS: Portland Timbers, Sporting Kansas City, Minnesota United, Seattle Sounders, FC Cincinnati, Austin FC
Premier League: Nine clubs, including Liverpool and Manchester City

SeatGeek’s sales team is pitching the program to existing clients and to teams that might prefer to stay with their current ticketing partner but still use some of SeatGeek’s new services. 

“Our sales pipeline is stronger than ever as it relates to clients that might want to move from their existing ticketing system to SeatGeek,” D’Souza said. “Even if they’re ticketed by somebody else, we just want to help. We are trying to create a tool for them that makes that possible.” 

D’Souza declined to reveal pricing information for Adapt but noted that most of SeatGeek’s 300 existing clients will have access to the system for an additional fee or free, based on the structure of their partnership. 

Mike Golub, president of business for the MLS Portland Timbers and NWSL Thorns, said the teams are working with SeatGeek to use Adapt for attendance scenarios and seating manifests. 

“We all realize we’re going to reopen with something likely less than a full building,” Golub said. “One plan has 6 feet between all the seats, at 20% capacity, and we have models at other capacities.”

Golub said that to date, the added service has been considered part of the teams’ existing partnership with SeatGeek. “When they came to us, they weren’t really trying to sell us anything. They said it was in ours, theirs, the fans and everybody’s best interest to figure out how we’re going to get this going again.”