Most airlines have done away with paper tickets, and now a Cleveland company called Flash Seats is pushing the same concept for ballgames and concerts to give fans more flexibility and teams greater control over the tickets they sell.

The patented Flash Seats system, which was used last season by the Cleveland Cavaliers professional basketball team, lets fans buy electronic tickets. They enter an arena or concert venue by swiping a credit card or driver’s license that identifies them as the holder of a seat. The system then issues a paper guide to help them find the seats. . .

The system lets fans buy, sell and transfer seats electronically. And venue operators can track the ownership of a ticket as it changes hands. The approach also lets teams or venue operators, rather than third-party resellers, manage ticket resales.

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“This technology allows teams to take back control of their tickets,” Flash Seats CEO Samuel Gerace said.

Control is a big issue. Gerace said teams lose control of more than half their paper tickets soon after the initial sale. He said 15 percent of an event’s tickets are typically resold by the original buyer, and 40 percent are transferred to someone else.

Team officials say they would like to maintain greater control to improve security, to prevent counterfeiting, and to reclaim some of the money that is going to third-party resellers such as eBay, StubHub, RazorGator and AceTicket.
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