Seeking to avoid the secondary ticketing snafus which fans encountered during the Beijing Olympics, the Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC) is in the process of developing its own authorized resale Web site for Olympic ticket purchasers. A VANOC staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity, briefly outlined the Committee’s plans for TicketNews.
“There’s really not any info that we have other than that we are in development of a ticket resale site, so we don’t have any more info on things like whether people can sell for more than face value…we want people to use the site, so it’s likely that we will allow people to sell for more than face value. We want it to be a site that’s friendly to both buyer and sellers. [The resale site] is coming, and it will be a place where people can know that they are purchasing authentic tickets.”
The staff member also discussed recent improvements in technology that will help to ensure that tickets get to ticket purchasers and remain with them. The launch date for the resale site was not disclosed.
“[Barcode technology] gives us the ability to cancel tickets at the click of a mouse, and there would be no way of knowing that til you get to the gate. The ticket could have been a legitimate ticket hours before and someone may have reported it as stolen, [so at the gate it would be scanned and invalidated].” The staffer also noted that CoSport and Jet Set Sports are the authorized Olympiad ticket sellers in Canada, with CoSport managing U.S. business, and tickets bought from other sellers may end up being invalidated at the event gate.
Canadian officials have already stipulated that national Olympic executives and sponsors are not to resell their tickets and that any such tickets found in the market will be considered invalid.
VANOC’s actions arise in the wake of significant ticketing issues during last summer’s Beijing Olympics, some involving alleged fraud and others due to technology that couldn’t keep up with consumer demand for tickets.
Nearly a full year before the 2010 Olympics were set to begin, VANOC became embroiled in legal action against two Canadian ticket brokers, Coast 2 Coast Tickets and Roadtrips, for allegedly selling unauthorized tickets. VANOC’s staffer explains: “The reason that we’ve taken that action is primarily as a consumer protection action. It’s not a revenue issue, but it is a consumer protection initiative. The lawsuits are certainly a last resort. Our best defense is to let people [know] that any time people buy from any source other than CoSport and Jet Set Sports they take a risk [that their tickets are not authentic].”