(from Sports Business Journal, October 14th, 2012) Major League teams are adopting a new kind of technology that allows fans who have already bought tickets for the game to upgrade to better seats for a lesser price. There are several technology vendors that currently offer this service. The process is simple, fans simply download the application on their smartphone, the stadium view comes up which highlights the ticket upgrade options, then the fan choses which upgrade they want. This technology helps teams move unsold inventory resell seats that were not sold, or the no-shows. Also, the application allows teams to evaluate data on ticket buyers and their seating preferences.
The Los Angeles Galaxy, part of Major League Soccer, is the first team to adopt this technology called “Experience.” In return, they have increases their revenue of $720 to $1,200 a game this season. The Galaxy said they have consistently resold 75 to 100 tickets a game. The majority of upgrades come from the club seats and field seats which are regularly priced at $125 to $200 a game. For the resell price, fans can upgrade to these seats for a price anywhere between $5 to $50 dollars a ticket. To make the upgrades available, Galaxy removes inventory not projected to sell from their current ticketing system, to the Experience system. The fans that already bought tickets receive an email the day before the game, making them aware of the seats that are available to upgrade to. The fans that decide to make the upgrade are then required to fill out a quick survey on their seating preferences, and the upgraded tickets are theirs. The only requirement is that the fan must pay with a credit or debit card. Teams around the world are seeing this as an opportunity to help fill donated seats, which ended up being no-shows due to the playing of lesser opponents.