In the wake of other big English soccer clubs joining forces with viagogo to resell unused tickets, Arsenal FC has now entered a partnership with Ticketmaster for the ticketing giant to function as the team’s exclusive secondary ticketer.
Ticketmaster has launched Arsenal’s TicketExchange, where Arsenal season ticket holders can resell tickets to registered Arsenal FC members. Ticketmaster is already Arsenal’s official telephone ticket sales operative and online ticketing provider. Their partnership in the UK with technology company Fortress GB has spearheaded the trend towards barcode-read ticketing solutions at soccer turnstiles, a move which many see as necessary in the fight against soccer’s historically troublesome security issues.
There is no middleman in this exchange; everything takes place in an electronic vacuum, from which other secondary ticketers are excluded. TicketExchange is Arsenal’s sole authorized resale website, and is being trumpeted by the club as an effective security measure against illegal ticket touting. The fact that the website is the only legal conduit for sale of unwanted Arsenal tickets will likely guarantee its popularity, contributing to the growing use of technological tools in soccer ticketing and security.
Ticketmaster rival viagogo.com has similar relationships with Manchester United and Chelsea.
People with Arsenal membership who buy tickets via Arsenal’s TicketExchange automatically have their smart cards credited for access to Emirates Stadium’s electronic turnstiles. The system enables information bulletins to be delivered via cellphone text messages or email, and members selling tickets through TicketExchange will have their value stored in an online account to be deducted from the following season’s membership fee. At the conclusion of each transaction, the credit for access to the seat in question is automatically transferred to the purchaser’s smart card.
Arsenal’s top ticketing official Ivan Worsell said in a statement, “We want to ensure that the club’s valued fans have the best event experience possible and this includes providing them with a facility to buy and resell tickets and avoid illegal and potentially fraudulent resellers. As all home games at the Emirates Stadium sold out last season TicketExchange offers all our members much greater choice and flexibility. By choosing Ticketmaster as our secondary market provider, we know that the team and its fans are receiving the very best ticketing technology available.”