A new company is giving sports fans and brokers the freedom of options when purchasing tickets.

OptionIt Inc. is the brainchild of longtime options trader Chris Pappas. For twenty-five years Pappas traded options for the Chicago Board of Trade before finally applying the same trading techniques to high demand options like sports tickets. The online platform works by giving fans and brokers the opportunity to secure single-game tickets to sporting events without fully committing to the tickets. A down payment holds the tickets for future use. If the customer decides to exercise their option and use the tickets, the tickets are purchased at face value on Ticketmaster and the rest of the ticket balance is paid off. Unused options can be sold off to other fans/brokers. Under this reservation system, there is never an obligation to purchase a ticket.

While the idea of selling options or futures to fans and brokers is not new – FirstDIBZ and yoonew operate on similar principles – OptionIt differentiates itself from its competition by focusing its business on selling options for scheduled events, rather than contingency events like the Super Bowl or Stanley Cup. In addition, OptionIt will only sell options on tickets in which the company has a contractual relationship with the rights holder. Presumably, this would avoid the trouble rival FirstDIBZ saw this winter, in which fraudulent ticket sellers listed non-existent Steelers-Cardinals Super Bowl tickets for fans to buy as futures on the FirstDIBZ Web site.

Current OptionIt partners include the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, and Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment (SVSE), which oversees the San Jose Sharks and San Jose’s HP Pavilion. More partnerships will be announced in the coming days and weeks, including NFL/NHL partnerships.

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OptionIt Vice President Michael Proman spoke with TicketNews and stressed the freedom Optionit not only gives fans, but also brokers.

“Options present a very unique and appealing proposition because you now have the ability to lock in access to something without paying the full price today,” Proman told TicketNews. “We want to provide convenience and flexibility, more than ‘now you’re in, now you’re out.’ Now there is a third option and it’s the ability to reserve now and decide later.”