Austin FC, the latest Major League Soccer expansion that is set to launch in 2021, is hoping to bring in more ticket sales with virtual reality technology.
Through the multi-year partnership with ticketing platform SeatGeek, fans will be able to see a fully-immersive, 360-degree virtual stadium tour to help decide where they want to sit in the new $200 million stadium. With this partnership, fans will also be able to buy, sell, and transfer tickets directly through the SeatGeek app.
Andy Loughnane, Austin FC president, said that the team needed to identify who would be the best partner and made their decision based on SeatGeek’s “commitments to create the most fan-friendly mobile ticketing experience across the sports and entertainment industry.”
“SeatGeek is best-positioned to fulfill the purchase and sharing capabilities that the modern ticket buyer demands, and Austin FC is excited to begin working alongside SeatGeek to harness their successful ticketing advancements and apply to a project that serves a region which takes great pride in innovation,” Loughnane said.
Austin FC is following suit of other MLS teams, as seven others have partnered with SeatGeek previously. One of SeatGeek’s clients, Minnesota United, also showcased its VR tour experience last year and sold-out its season tickets before the venue was even complete, SportsPro Media reports. SeatGeek’s vice president for partnerships, Jeff Ianello, said that the partnership will be “a true representation of the city of Austin,” noting that the company is excited to work with the MLS team.
“We know that Austin is one of the most innovative cities in the country,” Ianello said, “and it was crucial for the club that they work with the ticketing platform that can provide the best possible experience to their fans and the business community.”
The team announced this summer that it would begin accepting deposits for season tickets ahead of its inaugural season soon. The new stadium, dubbed McKalla Place, will open in 2021 and have a capacity of 20,500.