SeatGeek has expanded its operations in the NFL world, as word of a partnership with the Dallas Cowboys hit the news late on Tuesday. As part of the deal, the team will receive a 15 percent equity stake in SeatGeek, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell (and several other outlets).
The Cowboys join the New Orleans Saints as clients of SeatGeek on the primary market, as the Saints (and NBA New Orleans Pelicans – owned by the same group) signed a deal in the fall. They are the only two NFL teams to have opted out of using Ticketmaster as a primary ticketing vendor since the league’s renewal of its deal with the Live Nation-owned operator in the fall, with a more “open” framework.
The Detroit Lions had previously opted out of the Ticketmaster deal, moving their ticketing to Veritix in 2013, but Rovell says sources indicate the team will move back under the Ticketmaster umbrella for 2018.
According to Ampthemag.com, the Cowboys’ agreement with SeatGeek will not allow for the team to offer its secondary tickets through their new partner, as Ticketmaster continues to hold that right due to its renewed contract with the league. StubHub is currently the only secondary marketplace to have bought in as an officially-authorized platform for the resale of NFL tickets. Conceivably, however, SeatGeek, which began as a secondary ticketing operation before branching into the primary world, could seek similar authorization.
Neither the Cowboys nor SeatGeek has officially confirmed the existence of this new partnership, and requests for comment to both by various members of the media have been declined.
With a 100,000 seat stadium and one of the strongest brands in sports, let alone the NFL, the Dallas organization is a big get for SeatGeek, despite Ticketmaster’s overwhelming hold on the league as a whole in both primary and secondary ticketing. In 2017, four regular season games at AT&T Stadium made the Top 20 for best-selling sporting events on the entire year, according to data from Ticket Club. Add to that the NFC playoff game against the Packers, and Jerry Jones’ team held ¼ of the best-seller list alone.
We’ll update this story as additional information about deal becomes available.