The NBA’s Phoenix Suns have been testing a ticketless distribution service at its US Airways Center with a handful of willing season-ticket holders this season in hopes of offering it to more of its customers next year.
The system is from Ticketmaster Entertainment and did not cost the team anything. The arena’s ticketing operations are contracted to Ticketmaster; and when management asked the ticket selling giant about a ticketless distribution system, it turns out it was just finishing up its design, said John Walker, Senior Vice President of Business Development for the Suns.
“For our initial beta testing, we made phone calls to a few dozen Suns season ticket holders and asked them to try it out,” Walker told TicketNews. “We had some initial glitches with driver’s licenses – we weren’t getting good reads all the time – but then we started to have the customers use credit cards. Since then, it’s been getting all positive reviews.”
The process is similar to what online airline ticket buyers experience at the airport: a credit card is scanned for purposes of identification, then a seat location is printed.
Suns President and CEO Rick Welts told the Arizona Republic that “It only works if the customers love it, and we are trying to make sure of that before we offer it to a greater number of fans.”
Walker said the team hopes eventually to let all season-ticket holders use the tool. Its biggest test, which Walker said it passed with flying colors, was to admit 3,800 fans to an AC/DC concert in December.
With regard to the Suns, Walker said that “What we would like is for you to be able to transfer all your tickets online to a credit card, then use that credit-card number to get in for the entire season.”
Walker said that other teams have talked to them about it, adding, “We know that the Cavs have been very successful with the [Veritix] Flash Seats system.”
In addition to making the ticket process better for its customers, Walker said there are of course obvious potential benefits to the organization such as data capture, print-cost savings, security and manpower.