SeatGeek announced Friday afternoon that it has signed a deal to serve as the primary ticketing partner for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans. This is the first primary ticketing partnership for SeatGeek in either league, as it replaces Ticketmaster for both organizations, which are managed by the same ownership group.
SeatGeek already serves as the official ticketing partner of Major League Soccer, but breaking into the Ticketmaster-dominated top tier of sports in the United States is a coup for the New York-based company.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with two of the most dynamic and progressive organizations in the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans,” said SeatGeek co-founder Russ D’Souza in a press release. “The SeatGeek platform will give Saints and Pelicans fans easy access to games while helping the teams deliver a better experience to more fans. We’re confident this is just the beginning of a movement across the industry.”
The Saints and Pelicans, who had been rumored to be exploring a ticketing partnership outside of Ticketmaster/Live Nation, which still remains the “preferred” ticketing partner of the NFL and NBA, expressed their confidence that their new partnership would be a positive one for fans.
“Our number one priority is our fans, therefore we are partnering with SeatGeek to deliver the absolute best ticketing experience,” said New Orleans Saints and Pelicans President Dennis Lauscha. “SeatGeek allows our fans to explore new, innovative and flexible ways to purchase tickets with full ticket authentication. We are extremely proud of this partnership.”
Original post below:
Just a month after the NFL announced its extended partnership with Ticketmaster on ticketing, a story in the Advocate is implying that the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans could be kicking the tires on other options for their inventory.
As part of a greater piece exploring the “Who Dat?” team ownership’s continued push at overall excellence and trumpeting the fact that the franchises placed in the Top 5 in almost all categories of a recent fan satisfaction survey, came the following tidbit:
[Improving the experience] is something the team is looking at in all areas of operations, whether with the building itself or how people buy tickets to enter it. After years of using Ticketmaster as their ticket broker, the Saints and Pelicans are looking at other services that provide a more fan-friendly and hassle-free experience and could soon consider a change.
The piece, written by Nick Underhill, does not imply that to be a direct quote from anyone in the organization, but there are numerous other quotes in the piece from team officials, implying that the word is straight from the proverbial horses mouth.
“[Saints and Pelicans owner] Mr. [Tom] Benson remains very competitive in this small market, no matter the sport, or the business he owns, and the fan or customer must have the absolute best experience from beginning to end,” reads a quote from Saints spokesman Greg Bensel early in the article. “He is adamant that we over deliver on every detail of the fan or customer experience- no matter how small the detail, to be the best, to be number one.”
Potential changes are being weighed and prioritized by the franchises, the piece goes on, and looked at in terms of cost and time. Ticketing isn’t specifically mentioned beyond the headline and the paragraph quoted above.
Can the Saints actually venture outside of the Ticketmaster umbrella? We actually don’t know. A reading of the release from October announcing the NFL’s extended partnership with Ticketmaster states that the Live Nation subsidiary “will also have an expanded role as the preferred primary ticketing partner for the NFL,” rather than exclusive.
Given that the Ticketmaster partnership with the NFL reportedly will feature a strong push to the use of mobile-only ticketing and the company’s new “presence” audio system, it’s entirely possible that team officials are weighing other options that wouldn’t lock their fans into such restrictive and potentially faulty tech.
We reached out to representatives for both Live Nation/Ticketmaster and the NFL for clarification on whether or not the New Orleans Saints/Pelicans would be allowed to strike a deal with a different ticketing provider. As of noon on Friday, we had not yet received a response.