System Allows Fans to Buy No-Obligation Tickets to Bowl Games

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(from Sports Business Journal, October 1, 2012) College football is taking a new approach in the way tickets are being sold for major sporting events. Chicago based Forward Market Media is the backbone to this. Fans no longer have to worry about quickly trying to find a ticket to their favorite team’s championship game or paying, at times, double the original face value for a ticket.

Forward Market Media has developed a reservation ticketing system for events such as bowl and championship games, where the team is undetermined until the event is quickly approaching.

Fans can simply reserve a ticket for the bowl game for a fee. This fee varies, depending on the demand for the team they choose. Number 1 ranked Alabama, for example, requires the most expensive fee of $375 for the BCS championship. This can be compared to a much lower ranked team that’s fee could be as small as $10. However, the fee is nonrefundable whether the fan’s team makes it to the event or not, and the fan is still required to pay the face value of the original ticket, which is $375 for the championship game.

As an incentive for fans to take advantage of this new program, Orbitz is offering an incentive package. If the selected team makes it to the event, Orbitz is offering a travel discount of $75 to put toward an Orbitz flight and hotel combination.

According to Forward Market Media CEO Scott Mckibben, “It’s a supply-and-demand business.” This is why the fees fluctuate according to the demand for seats in a given section for a specific team. The venue sets these fees receiving 75% of the revenue, giving Forward Market Media 25%.

This new program is developed for the fans. It will save fans money through guaranteeing the price they pay for the actual ticket is only the face value of the ticket. The program eliminates off market sales of tickets for these fans and includes sponsor incentives as the Orbitz package.

McKibben’s sites are not just set on the BCS bowl, other bowl games are found in the future of the program, as well as many college football playoff games in the 2014 season.