FOXBOROUGH, MA (CelebrityAccess) — The New England Patriots, one of the most loathed, yet successful football teams in history, has opted to expand their deal with Ticketmaster to serve as the official ticketing marketplace for Patriots tickets at Gillette Stadium.
The terms of the expanded agreement will see the Pats allow their fans to purchase and sell tickets on a dedicated Ticketmaster-operated secondary marketplace at Patriots.com/tickets.
The deal also heralds the Patriot’s effort to transition to digital tickets at their Foxboro field of Gillette Stadium, allowing fans to store digital tickets on mobile devices via a digital wallet.
“Ticketmaster’s technology enables us to offer more tickets than ever before to our fans and we’re excited to roll out this new platform when the 2018 schedule is announced,” said Jen Ferron, Chief Marketing Officer for the New England Patriots. “Our renewed partnership also means that Patriots fans can reap the many benefits of Ticketmaster’s innovative digital ticketing system for all upcoming home games.”
The new digital ticketing system will also make it easier for fans to sell and transfer tickets to other would-be Patriots fans. The expanded deal comes nearly a year after Ticketmaster and the National Football League extended their partnership, with an eye to making such digital passes ubiquitous at NFL stadiums across the country.
“The New England Patriots are one of the most storied franchises in the NFL, and we’re proud to extend our partnership with them to bring the safety and convenience of digital ticketing to their fans,” said Greg Economou, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Sports for Ticketmaster North America. “After the 2018 NFL schedule goes live, Patriots fans will have access to significantly more tickets than in previous years while enjoying the best ticket buying experience possible.”
The Patriots organization joins a growing list of teams who have been experimenting with mobile first ticketing. The Dallas Cowboys were the first of the NFL teams to debut the technology in their 2015-2016 season and have stuck with it since launch. Following on the heels of the Cowboys, the Kansas City Chiefs, The Denver Broncos, and the Atlanta Falcons have all followed suit.
However, the Cowboys have since dropped Ticketmaster as their secondary market provide and announced earlier this year that they had partnered with SeatGeek.
As well, the experimentation with secondary market sales can lead to bad press for teams. In March, Major League Baseball suffered a black eye when it was revealed by a joint investigation by the Canadian Broadcasting Company and the Toronto Star that the Toronto Blue Jays had been directly profiting from secondary market sales.
According to the report, the CBC/Toronto Star found that fans were being charged prices that averaged 205% of the face value of the ticket, with the Blue Jays’s secondary market provider StubHub funneling a portion of the proceeds of those sales to the team.
“They do very well, let’s put it that way,” StubHub’s head of global communications Glenn Lehrman told the Star in March. “For something like opening day, that’s just added revenue that they’re going to get. They’re going to sell out their game regardless and now they’re benefiting from whatever sales that we do on top of that… It’s absolutely added revenue for them.”