The UK’s largest arena venue manager, SMG Europe, has announced that it will once again make Ticketmaster, a Live Nation Entertainment company, their official ticketing partner.
SMG Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of SMG and owns multiple arenas and theaters across the country. These include well-known venues like Manchester arena, first direct Arena Leeds, and a multitude of other smaller spots. Ticketmaster will begin its takeover with the York Barbican, with other venues coming on board throughout the summer.
“As the largest operator of sports and entertainment venues in the UK and Europe, SMG Europe requires the best in ticketing services,” SMG Europe Senior Vice President John Sharkey said. “Ticketmaster’s world class, industry-leading technology solutions, unrivaled marketing reach and distribution channels, and customer insight are a true match for the worldwide leader.”
For consumers, the value will come by way of familiar technology solutions brought on by Ticketmaster, including downloadable e-tickets to users’ phones. For Ticketmaster, the partnership increases its overseas footprint in the primary market to go along with its secondary products Seatwave and GetMeIn. For SMG, the value is obviously in Ticketmaster’s general business model of large up-front money in exchange for the concession.
“Ticketmaster is thrilled to welcome SMG back on board. SMG operates some of the best venues in the world. By partnering with Ticketmaster, they will gain access to our industry-leading products to sell more tickets, more effectively. From Paperless, to restrict resale, to easy-to-use digital ticketing, we will be working closely with SMG to ensure the best possible experience for fans when attending events.”
Ticketmaster’s parent company Live Nation reportedly was considering making a bid on SMG earlier this year after the company was put on the market by its former owner, Northlane Capital Partners. But that potential acquisition never came to be – Live Nation did not enter a bid. SMG was instead acquired by the Toronto-based private-equity firm Onex Corporation in concert with Northlane Capital Partners.