The New England Patriots, which have long taken a distinctly anti-ticket broker stance in the past, this week signed a travel package deal with Boston-based secondary ticket broker Ace Ticket.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the move marks a major shift for the team, which had been embroiled in a lawsuit against ticket resale marketplace StubHub for three years, before the two finally settled the case in the summer of 2009.
Ace Ticket, which already has a secondary ticket deal with the Boston Red Sox, will sell travel packages that will include airfare, hotel and a ticket to the away game for between $595 and $1,250 per person, according to company owner and President Jim Holzman.
The deal only applies to Patriots’ away games, and whether it could eventually lead to a secondary ticket agreement for the team’s home games is unknown. A Patriots team spokesperson did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Yet, the fact that the team has signed a deal with a ticket broker could be considered a huge boon for the industry, and could help Massachusetts ticket brokers in the future as they work to try to overturn the state’s antiquated anti-ticket scalping laws. The movement to rid the state of laws against ticket resale was temporarily derailed a couple of years ago following the lobbying scandal involving former state Speaker of the House Salvatore DiMasi and his friend Richard Vitale.
In a prepared statement, Murray Kohl, the Patriot’s vice president of Sales, said the deal came about because the organization was “constantly approached by Patriots fans” who were in the market for away tickets. “Ace Ticket provides us the resource of a reputable company to which we can refer Patriots fans who want to travel to see games in our opponents’ venues. Ace Ticket is respected as a company that stands behind all of their tickets transactions. It’s a benefit to our fans and a comfort for us to have a partner like Ace Ticket for fan travel packages.”
Holzman told TicketNews that Ace Ticket “will source the team’s inventory” for the game tickets, which he added will sometimes be sold at a premium. “It’s our business to sell tickets at a profit when possible, but we’re looking to sell the whole package, not just individual tickets.”
The company will sell packages for all of the team’s regular season and playoff away games, except for the Thanksgiving Day game this year in Detroit against the Lions, because Holzman does not believe there will be much interest in New England fans traveling to an away game on the traditionally family oriented holiday. In addition, some packages may feature cocktail parties for the fans with current or former Patriots players.
Since this is the team’s first foray into travel packages, there is no hard data on how many trips have been sold in the past, but Holzman is hopeful that it will be a success. He said he first approached the team about it six years ago. “There’s a potential for thousands of people to go to each road game.” And, besides the Patriots, the deal will also extend to the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer.
The deal will allow Ace Ticket to be featured on the Patriots’ Web site, and in television and radio advertisements.
“They know what we do, and being a strong, regional brand and having relationships with the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics likely helped pave the way with the Patriots,” Holzman said. “Ace Ticket looks forward to a long and successful partnership with the team.”
Last Updated on April 14, 2011 by By Alfred Branch Jr.
Ace Ticket continues to be a leader in our industry, im always pleased when they somehow find a way to get deals done that show that even one of us regular brokers can somehow out smart all the big exchanges. Im glad im in New York i wouldnt want to have to compete with Ace, give these guys credit, wow first the Red Sox ,now the Patriots
you are setting new standards
Agree NATB should have had him lead one of their panels. Put the man on the NATB Board, disappointed with their current leadership. Congratulations ACE, Great to see a broker’s success, that not all brokers are out to scam the consumer.
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This is really impressive, this is the same team that fought with Stubhub for years, they sued each other for millions and millions of dollars. I always thought somehow that Stubhub would pay them off and end up getting some sort of deal and they would settle out of court and try to steal the Ticketmaster NFL deal away for themselves. Ive dealt with Ace and i visited Boston, these guys are a complete power house, they have deals with everybody. The NATB should have had him lead one of the panels; he’s smarter than most of us and maybe we would learn something from Holzman.
I was in Boston for the Lakers Celtics Finals and saw one of there operations, nicest Ticket Store ive ever seen. The thing that blew me away though is they actually had an entire TV studio right there in there store and they were broadcasting the actual NBA Finals pregame show with Players present in there store,Fkn unreal!. I know some one that knows there operation and Ace told him that the Television Studio cost over a Million bucks to build,after seeing it, i believe it,anyway nicely done
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As a Boston broker, it’s great sharing the turf with these guys. A class organization to deal with, great marketers and blazing trails that small guys like us could never blaze with the professional teams. Well done.