Viagogo, the world’s largest ticket martketplace recently announced partnerships with several European football clubs, which they say represents a change in the attitude toward the secondary ticketing market in Europe.
According to an August 16 press release, viagogo will partner with nine English Premier League soccer clubs, five German Bundesliga clubs, two Dutch Eredivisie clubs, one Spanish La Liga club, and several Italian Serie A clubs.
The partnership means that the company will now provide ticketing solutions for some of the world’s biggest clubs like English champions Manchester City, European champs Chelsea FC, German FC Bayern Munich, and Dutch PSV Eindhoven.
According to viagogo, allowing fans to resell their tickets to games they cannot attend will ultimately help fill empty seats and increase game-day revenue through the sales of food and merchandise.
“Nobody likes empty seats,” said Eric Baker, founder and CEO of viagogo in a recent press release. “Both fans and administrators were angry to see them during the Olympics, and now soccer clubs too have woken up to the benefits of secondary ticketing.”
For the first time in European football season ticket holders will be able to set their own ticket price. Viagogo hopes that the “free market” approach will keep fans from selling their tickets through unofficial channels, because the seller will have a secure place to sell their tickets and the buyer will be able to purchase tickets to must-see games at a fair price.
“Demand for tickets and memberships over the last couple of seasons has gone through the roof,” said Danny Wilson, head of sales and service for Manchester City. “Our new partnership with viagogo, the world’s largest ticket exchange, is great news for both supporters who are occasionally unable to use their season cards and fans struggling to get a ticket to must-see games. It’s another small step in providing our fans with a premium supporter service, which is flexible and great value.”
The partnership between viagogo and some of the world’s largest sports clubs is a win-win for everyone involved – it will provide fans with a place to sell their tickets without a hassle and allow others to catch a game that they otherwise might not have been able to attend. It will also solve the problem of empty seats on game day and will likely lead to a more profitable event for the clubs.
“Ticket resale has come a long way in Europe since I launched viagogo in 2006,” Baker added. “These partnerships prove that we’re the continent’s dominant force, and the obvious next step is to grow our business in the US to become a genuine competitor to the company I created, StubHub.”
The announcement comes nearly four months after the European ticketing giant announced they liquidated their assets and would move the company’s operations to Switzerland. There was speculation that the move was made to avoid the UK’s ban on the resale of tickets for the 2012 Olympic Games.
This year’s Games in London were largely overshadowed by the ticketing debacle that left many fans without a ticket, despite the fact that seats for several of the Games’ biggest events were left empty. While it’s not certain if the situation led the football clubs to become accepting of the secondary market, the partnership will assure that tickets that are sold are used and that the stadiums’ seats are filled come game day.