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Atlanta Braves launch new online exchange for season ticket holders

By Alfred Branch Jr.

The Atlanta Braves, which have struggled through the years with selling out their games, is launching a team-run season ticket exchange where fans can find other fans to share their tickets.

The move is designed to help season ticket holders share the cost of tickets; depending on the location of the seats and the number of tickets for each game, those costs can be difficult for some fans to afford given the current economy. According to the team, fans with season tickets can list however many tickets they want to distribute and how they want to distribute them. And fans looking to share in the costs can contact the season ticket holder through the team's Web site and offer their tickets for any amount.

"This innovative and easy-to-use online tool will give fans who are interested in purchasing season tickets the opportunity to find partners to share the cost and will help our current season ticket holders organize and distribute their tickets," Derek Schiller, executive vice president of sales and marketing for the Braves, said in a statement. "We feel strongly that this is a simple way for fans to find others who share the same passion for Braves baseball and become an Atlanta Braves season ticket holder."

According to an introductory video the team produced about the program, season ticket holders will be able to set whatever price they want for the tickets.

Fans sharing season ticket packages is nothing new, and other teams have instituted similar programs; for example, the New Jersey Nets basketball team and the Florida Panthers hockey team even established an exchange for fans who may be traveling between those states and might want to see a basketball or hockey game.

But, the move also is a way for a team to try to keep control of its tickets instead of those tickets ending up on the secondary market. The Braves, which are part of the baseball ticket resale deal with StubHub, are touting the benefit that the transactions are safe and secure.

"Everyone is going to be doing this soon," said one secondary ticket broker. "They want their season ticket holders to think they can move product they don’t want to use."

During the 2010 season, the Braves saw their ticket sales improve, in part due to the team posting a solid record and making the playoffs.


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