Ticketing solutions company Veritix is adding another major client to its growing list of primary and secondary ticketing platform users.
In the exclusive partnership with Smith’s Tix, Veritix will take over operations at all of the ticket distributor’s Utah-area venues, including EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City and USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City, among many others.
The announcement comes just over two months after the company confirmed a similar contract with Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH. The deals in Utah and Cleveland will both take effect October 1, to coincide with the beginning of the NBA season.
EnergySolutions Arena is home to the Utah Jazz, while Quicken Loans Arena hosts the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is owned by Dan Gilbert, the majority owner of Veritix. The implementation of these deals also comes hot on the heels of Veritix’s July1 takeover of operations at the Pepsi Center, another NBA hotspot that is home to the Denver Nuggets in Denver, CO.
Jeff Kline, president of Veritix, discussed the company’s new contracts in a recent interview with TicketNews. He noted that the days leading up to the October 1 integration have been busy ones for Veritix.
“There’s a lot of preparation. We have to convert from one ticketing system to another,” he said. “Our teams, both at Veritix and in the venues, have been engaged in a very detailed conversion plan for the past few months.”
After those months of preparation, the system will be a go when the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz launch the NBA preseason this Thursday at EnergySolutions Arena. Veritix will not only oversee all phone, box office and online sales at the nearly 20,000-capacity venue in Salt Lake City; the company will also implement its patented Flash Seats platform for paperless primary sales and secondary ticket transfers.
The patented digital ticketing platform was developed three years ago, and has already been fully implemented by the Cavaliers, Nuggets and Houston Rockets, among other teams and venues. The system allows teams, artists and venues to offer and track paperless ticket sales, while also allowing secondary transfers of those tickets.
“The opportunity to utilize Flash Seats for digital ticketing means we know who is attending our events, how much they paid for each seat and exactly where it came from,” said Jim Olson, senior vice president of the Utah Jazz and EnergySolutions Arena, in a statement. “We always look out for the best interests and service to our fans. This platform is consistent with our goals.”
Veritix also recently introduced Flash Seats as a method of delivery for the Colorado Avalanche‘s first pre-season game at the Pepsi Center in Denver. While the adoption rate for ticket buyers using the system was low, Kline explained that the numbers will steadily increase as more customers learn how to use the system throughout the coming season.
“People have to get used to using it. It has a learning curve,” he explained, adding, “It’s convenient, it’s secure and the team is endorsing it.”
Digital ticketing is the next wave in the industry, Kline said, citing Veritix’s record of selling about two million completely digital tickets over the past three years. The ability to tie a buyer’s ID to a ticket — and to transfer that ticket after the initial sale — has decreased the number of no-shows and empty seats, a fact which translates to more venue gains in terms of parking and concessions.
“The lines between the primary and secondary [market] have been very blurred for the first time. The only reason a secondary market exists is because people haven’t been effective enough about pricing their tickets correctly on the primary market.”
While digital ticketing is the next obvious step for the industry to take, according to Kline, it should only be used as a means to “extend your lifeline to the fan.”
“It’s not realistic for it to be all digital or paperless all the time. There are people who want to have that ticket in their hand. We have to make it so easy and so convenient that people want to use it,” Kline stated, continuing, “It’s a method of delivery, but by no means the only method of delivery.”
While all three deals with the Cavaliers, Nuggets and Jazz were put in motion before the proposed merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation was announced, Kline believes his business will continue to generate the same level of interest in the wake of the news.
While many are taking a “wait and see” stance as a final decision looms for the merger, Veritix has continued to broach new conversations with venues, teams and even specific artists. “I think the announcement about the proposed merger has caused venues and teams to take a closer look at their ticketing systems and what it all means,” he commented.
Kline also noted that with a merger that seeks to “combine the artist, the management, the ticketing agent, and in some cases the venues” it would be impossible not to feel the impact. But in the long run, he explained, “Technology to technology, and service to service, we are very confident in our ability to win new business.”