Following news that TicketsNow was having difficulty fulfilling hundreds of U.S. Open ticket orders this week, rival StubHub called it “ironic” that the official secondary ticket exchange for the Grand Slam tennis event would have trouble getting tickets to paying fans.
According to several ticket brokers, TicketsNow was forced by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to temporarily suspend selling tickets for the event earlier this week after there were complaints from angry fans who did not receive their tickets. The company fixed the problem, but then hastily crafted a new policy that it would not allow same-day ticket sales for the remainder of the tournament and would only allow tickets to be sold 24 hours in advance. Ticketmaster, parent company of TicketsNow, was still selling same-day tickets during the week.
The snafu caused dozens of ticket brokers to lose money on pre-purchased tickets, and led some to speculate that TicketsNow struggled with the Open because it has lost too many key executives in the past year since it was acquired by Ticketmaster. Sean Moriarty, President and CEO of Ticketmaster, has made a point of emphasizing that TicketsNow will play a major part in the company’s ongoing growth strategy now that its stock is being publicly traded (on Nasdaq under the symbol TKTM).
“In short we were definitely aware of the many issues TicketsNow was having complete with crashing systems and hundreds of people waiting in line. Very ironic considering their official designation by the U.S. Open. StubHub was operating as we normally do from a nearby Last Minute Service pickup location,” StubHub spokesperson Sean Pate told TicketNews. Attempts to reach spokespeople for TicketsNow and the USTA were unsuccessful. The TicketsNow corporate blog also did not carry any mention of the problems at the Open.
StubHub has staged tents, hospitality suites and other customer service facilities at the U.S. Open and other major events, such as The Masters golf tournament, for years, and did not experience any problems at the Open this year.
“We actually enhanced up our service quite a bit this year to include a shuttle bus to and from the venue and a free buffet for those buyers picking up a ticket from us,” Pate said, adding that the Open was TicketsNow’s first foray into staging a similar facility at tournament. “We experienced no issues or lines with any wait times and serviced thousands of orders. We’ve seen a number of brokers switch to listing with us based on this poor experience with TicketsNow this week especially since they couldn’t keep their tickets listed on the day of the event. Our listings come down at match time.”
Last Updated on September 6, 2008 by By Alfred Branch Jr.